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Former Pro Football Coach Bill Cowher Tells Men "No Excuses" When It Comes To Getting Screened For Melanoma

NEW YORK, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey shows that when it comes to getting screened for skin cancer, one in six men avoid going for fear of the results they will receive. This may be one reason why men are almost twice as likely as women to die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and nearly two-thirds don't see a point in going to a dermatologist unless something is wrong, even while incidence rates continue to rise. This can often be too late, as melanoma is almost always curable if caught early and treated properly, but it gets much harder to treat in advanced stages.

To address this lack of action and empower men to take an active role in their skin health, former professional football coach Bill Cowher is teaming up for a second time with leading melanoma advocacy groups – Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation, The Skin Cancer Foundation – and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) on the educational campaign Melanoma Exposed: Screen. Protect. Know. Tell .  

The campaign is working with five professional football teams to spread the word about melanoma and bring free skin cancer screenings to the public. Last year, these events screened nearly 2,000 people, identifying 26 potential melanomas, and this year the goal is to screen even more.

In year two, the campaign is encouraging men to put their excuses aside and make skin cancer screenings a priority. The key is to get screened regularly and catch melanoma in its early stages.

"As a former football coach, one of my biggest lessons to my players was about being accountable for their actions. I apply this 'no excuses' attitude to my health as well. There should never be any excuses for not taking the best possible care of your health," said Coach Cowher. "Getting your skin screened by a dermatologist is quick and easy – it takes about 10 minutes. Men need to face the truth and learn the facts about melanoma. By not getting screened early and routinely, they are putting themselves at greater risk."

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