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September 11, 1987

Summer Wanes, but Dermatologists Caution Threat of Skin Cancer Remains

JAMA. 1987;258(10):1281. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400100015002

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"STAY OUT OF THE SUN" was the meaning of a bandage on the tip of his nose, President Ronald Reagan said last month. About to undergo the successful excision of his third basal cell epithelioma in two years, the President personalized the statistics and warnings from the American Cancer Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation that increase in number and grow in urgency just as the problem of skin cancer does.

Having sensitive "Celtic"-type skin and enjoying the outdoor life in sunny California for many years, both the President and Nancy Reagan (who had a similar cancer removed not long ago) are typical of those at risk of developing skin cancer, says June K. Robinson, MD, associate professor of dermatology and surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. Robinson recently reiterated cautions against overexposure to ultraviolet light.

"It's necessary to keep reminding people to protect themselves, by covering up and/or using