Sunscreen and melanoma

American Cancer Society-approved ads are causing a stir by playing loose with the evidence:

“We do have some pretty good evidence that sunscreen will reduce your risk of the less lethal forms of skin cancer,” Dr. Kramer added. “There’s very little evidence that sunscreens protect you against melanoma, yet you often hear that as the dominant message.”

Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, acknowledges that the advertisement is aggressive. “We have taken some license in taking that message and using it the way we’ve used it,” he said, “because that’s the way to get the message to our target audience.” . . . “To get the message through to me, you have to shock me and get my attention.”

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