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L'Oréal Paris teams up with Melanoma Research Alliance to battle melanoma

NEW YORK — In recognition of "Melanoma Monday," L'Oréal Paris has released a new survey on melanoma awareness and prevention among women of all skin tones, and announced a philanthropic alliance with the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Over the next three years, L’Oréal Paris will donate more than $750,000 to the MRA to fund the new L’Oréal Paris-MRA Team Science Award, led by cancer researcher Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, to research ways to help prevent, cure and treat melanoma, the fastest growing cancer in the world and the deadliest form of skin cancer.

L’Oréal Paris will help fund the melanoma research through sales of its line of SPF sun care products, Sublime Sun. Through Dec. 31, for every Sublime Sun product sold in the United States, L’Oréal Paris will donate $1 to the MRA for the L’Oréal Paris-MRA Team Science Award, up to $250,000. 100% of the donation will go toward the research.

Throughout Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May and into the summer, L’Oréal Paris will also help create awareness and education for women of all skin tones about melanoma prevention through its website, social media and spokesmodels. Today, fewer than one-quarter (22%) of American women would give themselves an “A” for healthy sun care habits, according to the survey commissioned by L’Oréal Paris and conducted by Kelton Global. And, while people of all skin tones are at risk for melanoma, only 21% of Hispanic women and 12% of African-American women give themselves an “A” when it comes to sun protection.

L’Oréal Paris is encouraging people to test their "Skin IQ" and learn about melanoma myths and facts by visiting lorealparisusa.com/sun.  To get further involved in the donation, people can also make a pledge on Facebook and Twitter to protect their skin. For each pledge from May through July, the company will donate an additional $1 to the MRA, up to $10,000.

"The Melanoma Research Alliance is an incredible organization that has made significant strides in funding melanoma research and advancing treatment.  We are very proud to partner with the MRA to help find a cure for melanoma and drive awareness around this disease," stated Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris.  "Our hope is to help drastically reduce the growing incidence of melanoma in this country by educating women that sunscreen should be a part of their daily beauty routine, no matter your skin tone or where you live."

Survey Shows Women Are Not Taking Preventative Steps against Melanoma

In the L’Oréal Paris survey conducted by Kelton, while the majority of American women are aware of melanoma, more than half of women give themselves a "C" or lower when grading their healthy sun care habits. Hispanic and African American women, among whom the incidence of melanoma is growing, are even less likely to take steps to protect their skin.

"Sometimes Latinas like myself and other women of color have this false perception that we aren't at risk for skin cancer, when in fact, the rate of melanoma is actually increasing for us and can be more deadly," added actress, philanthropist and L’Oréal Paris spokesperson Eva Longoria. "We all need to wear sunscreen daily, get our skin checked regularly and be aware of the signs." 

Some of the key findings from the survey include
:

  • Women lack information about melanoma and want to know more;
  • 95% percent of American women who have heard of melanoma know that it first affects the skin, but for many, the knowledge stops there;
  • Of those women who know of melanoma, far fewer know that not reapplying sunscreen every two hours (54%) or having freckles or moles (54%) could put someone at a higher risk for the disease;
  • Less than 3-in-10 (28%) American women believe it's possible they could develop melanoma in their lifetimes; this belief is even lower among African-American (7%) and Hispanic (16%) women; and
  • While fewer than 3-in-10 (28%) American women who are aware of the disease believe they have a chance of developing it, 23% stress that they would like to know more about it.

Women know they should wear sunscreen, but don't.

  • Lack of sunscreen use is likely why many American women give themselves failing sun care grades.  One-third (33%) of those who think they would earn a “C” or worse admit they rarely, if ever, wear sunscreen, versus 7& of those who would grade themselves better;
  • 21% of U.S .women, 17% of Hispanic women and 37% of African-American women never or rarely wear sunscreen;
  • Almost half (46% of U.S. women, 46% of Hispanic women and 36% of African-American women polled) only wear sunscreen when they know they'll be in the sun for a long time; and
  • Less than 1-in-10 (9%) American women wear sunscreen daily and reapply it every few hours.
  • An alarming percentage of American women don't take steps to check their skin for melanoma
  • A minority (30% of American women, 15% of Hispanics and 19% African Americans) regularly give themselves skin exams;
  • 86% of U.S. women would not recognize a melanoma on themselves;
  • Only 11% of American women regularly see a dermatologist; and
  • 88% of U.S. women, 89% of Hispanic women and 96% of African-American women have not had any kind of dialogue with a doctor about melanoma.


L’Oréal Paris -MRA Team Science Award to Fund Research on Melanoma Drivers

The L’Oréal Paris MRA Team Award will be awarded to researchers from the Wistar Institute and University of Pennsylvania in the United States, Oslo University Hospital in Norway and Leeds University in the United Kingdom. The research will be led by Meenhard Herlyn D.V.M., D.Sc. from the Wistar Institute, whose laboratory focuses on the biology that underlies melanoma.

The team of researchers will take an in-depth look into the drivers of melanoma susceptibility, development and progression to help lead to prevention and therapy for the disease. People with genetically determined phenotypes such as light skin color, which tans poorly, red hair, blue eyes or many moles are generally considered more susceptible to melanoma compared to those with none of these attributes. However, the fact that only a few of these individuals contract the disease suggests that environmental traits may also play a major role in susceptibility.

The expectation from the studies is the identification of co-drivers that cooperate with driver genes, which will, in the future, be the targets for melanoma prevention and therapy.

L’Oréal, which has a long history of sun protection, has developed for 2013 two new sunscreen forms of its L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun collection. Now there’s high SPF oils and foaming mousse sunscreens, as well as expanded SPF offerings for the pre-existing Sublime Sun line. The full L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Collection is comprised of 12 products for face and body.
 

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