Senator Santarsiero Pushes to Recognize May as Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

BUCKS COUNTY – May 25, 2022 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) is seeking to raise awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and over-exposure to the sun.  Along with State Senator Pat Browne (R-16), Sen. Santarsiero introduced a resolution to recognize May as Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month and the first Monday in May as “Melanoma Monday”.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million new cases diagnosed each year.  Of the various types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most dangerous, and is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

Sen. Santarsiero hosted two constituents, Valerie Mihalek and her husband Don, in the Senate on Tuesday and thanked Ms. Mihalek for her advocacy on the subject.  “Valerie shared with me her personal experience with melanoma and brought to my attention how dangerous this form of cancer can be,” Sen. Santarsiero said from the floor of the Senate.  “She has been a strong advocate for increasing public awareness of the need to take preventative measures to avoid skin cancer.”  

Sen. Santarsiero specifically reminded parents of young children, who are particularly susceptible to skin damage at an early age, of the need to take precautions when outside during summer months, including wearing sunscreen and seeking shade.

“Skin cancer is a disease that we can prevent.  Everyone must be cognizant to the dangers of over-exposure to the sun and the need to wear sunscreen,” Sen. Santarsiero said.  “The issue hit a bit closer to home this year when I was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma.  I was fortunate that basal cell carcinoma is a relatively good diagnosis when caught early. A simple outpatient procedure was enough to fully remove the cancer with minimal to no long-term effects.”

Senate Resolution 263 can be found here.

Senators Santarsiero and Browne Announce National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Resolution

HARRISBURG — February 3, 2020 —State Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Pat Browne (R-16) are co-prime sponsors of a resolution to recognize February 24 through March 1, 2020 as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

“Eating disorders exist across the broad spectrum of age, race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomics, and are marred by misunderstandings and misconceptions,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “This issue affects over 30 million Americans and has escaped our attention for far too long. It is my hope that this resolution brings that much needed attention to the devasting reality and prevalence of eating disorders.”

“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and they affect the lives of people across all backgrounds,” said Sen. Browne. “Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of eating disorders are often overlooked and friends and family of those suffering from an eating disorder are frequently unaware of how devastating these disorders can be. We have learned from eating disorder experts that prompt, intensive treatment significantly improves the chances of recovery. Understanding this, it is vital that we help shine the spotlight on eating disorders, how to identify early warning signs and what can be done to help those suffering get the treatment and help they need. I am pleased to co-sponsor this resolution with Senator Santarsiero to increase the awareness of this devastating disorder.”

In 2019, Sen. Santarsiero introduced Senate Bill 324, which would require schools to annually provide educational information on eating disorders to parents with children in 5th through 12th grades. To announce this legislation, Sen. Santarsiero hosted a press conference in the capitol with Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, Joey Julius, former Pennsylvania State University football kicker, and guests from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

“The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. It is estimated that over 500,000 Pennsylvania residents are currently struggling with an eating disorder, which are serious and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses,” said Chevese Turner, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer for NEDA. “NEDA is grateful to Pennsylvania Senators Browne and Santarsiero for their support in bringing attention to this important campaign.”

For more information about the Senate Resolution, click here.

To view opening remarks from the 2019 press conference on Senate Bill 324, click here.

For more information about Senate Bill 324, click here.

For more information about the National Eating Disorders Association, click here.

Sen. Steve Santarsiero represents the 10th Senatorial District, which includes: Bedminster Township, Buckingham Township, Chalfont, Doylestown, Doylestown Township, Dublin, East Rockhill Township, Falls Township, Haycock Township, Hilltown Township, Lower Makefield Township, Morrisville, New Britain, New Britain Township, New Hope, Newtown, Newtown Township, Perkasie, Plumstead Township, Sellersville, Silverdale, Solebury Township, Telford, Tullytown, Upper Makefield Township, West Rockhill Township, and Yardley.