3M News Center

National Skin Cancer Screening Initiative Reaches Millions

Thousands of skin cancers and precancers detected in program's first year

Friday, January 30, 2004 9:00 am CST


ST. PAUL, Minn.
"3M's innovative public health partnership with dermatology residency programs is the first of its kind. The sheer numbers that 3M's program has reached is extraordinary and more importantly, this program may have saved lives"

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M Pharmaceuticals today announced results from a national skin cancer screening initiative that joined more than 40 dermatology residency programs with their local communities to prevent and detect skin cancer. During 2003, nearly 7,000 people received free skin cancer screenings and millions more received educational information about skin cancer and the importance of prevention, early detection and treatment. Through 3M's initiative, participating dermatologists detected more than 560 suspected skin cancers, including nearly 70 melanomas, the leading cause of skin cancer-related deaths in the United States. Dermatologists also found nearly 1,400 cases of actinic keratosis (AK), a common precancerous skin condition that affects more than 10 million Americans. These findings reinforce the need for regular skin examinations and the value of community screening programs.

Together, 3M and 41 prominent medical institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, University of California-Los Angeles and Yale University, set out to reach as many people as possible with screenings and skin cancer prevention and detection messages. 3M-sponsored screenings were conducted at nontraditional venues, ranging from California beaches to high-profile events such as the Senior PGA 3M Championship and the TD Waterhouse Cup tennis tournament, reaching hundreds of sun-exposed beachgoers and golf and tennis fans. Screenings also were offered at local city art festivals and shopping malls throughout the country. 3M's community-based screening approach provided ease and accessibility for thousands who may not have otherwise visited a dermatologist or received information about AK or skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), if left untreated, AK may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, the second-leading cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States.

"3M's innovative public health partnership with dermatology residency programs is the first of its kind. The sheer numbers that 3M's program has reached is extraordinary and more importantly, this program may have saved lives," said Ray Cornelison, M.D., chairman, Department of Dermatology, University of Oklahoma.

3M's initiative builds upon the company's longstanding commitment to the dermatology specialty as a knowledge and service provider. In addition to partnering with dermatology residency programs, 3M is collaborating with the AAD to raise public awareness of AK and skin cancer through a comprehensive educational campaign. Together, 3M's initiatives with the AAD and dermatology residency programs have reached nearly 10,000 people with screenings and more than 83 million people with skin cancer prevention messages through joint events and national and local media coverage.

"We are very pleased to have been able to work with some of the pre-eminent medical institutions in the United States on this important public health issue. Greater public awareness of the imminent skin cancer threat and identification of current sufferers are notable accomplishments as we expand our participation in the dermatology community. We look forward to having an even greater impact in the future," said Barry Labinger, division vice president, Pharmaceuticals Division.

3M Pharmaceuticals Division -- Part of the 3M Health Care Family

3M Health Care, the largest of 3M's seven business segments, serves medical, dental, pharmaceutical and personal care markets. 3M Pharmaceuticals, a division of 3M Health Care, develops, manufactures and sells branded prescription drug products related to dermatology, women's health, sexual health, cardiology and respiratory medicine. Additional information is available at www.3M.com/pharma.


3M, St. Paul
Maureen Kiggins, 212-856-8430
Diane Kwiatkowski, 651-733-7853
John Cornwell, 651-733-7698

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