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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Aric Almirola Waves the Yellow Flag at Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

Friday, October 23, 2009 General News J E 4
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Urges race fans to check their skin health as consistently as they check their oil

BRISTOL, Tenn., Oct. 23 -- Driver Aric Almirola is lending his voice to a national public education program to raise awareness of actinic keratosis (AK) — a potential early warning sign of skin cancer — as well as the long-term consequences of sun damage over a lifetime.  The national campaign, "Is it AK or OK?" is sponsored by Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC, in partnership with The Skin Cancer Foundation.  

Graceway is the primary sponsor of the No. 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra for the remainder of the 2009 series season. "Aric is a tremendous driver and we are proud to work with him to help raise awareness of the realities of life-long sun exposure," said Jeff Gregory, CEO and Chairman, Graceway Pharmaceuticals.

AK is a visible sign of accumulated sun damage caused by harmful UV rays. Many people have never heard of AKs and yet these flat, scaly patches on the sun-exposed skin are the most commonly treated condition by dermatologists and are a leading diagnosis at skin cancer screenings.

  • It is estimated that about 10 million Americans currently have AK.
  • Anyone who has previously had an AK is at a higher risk for developing new AKs or skin cancer.
  • Approximately 10% of AKs may develop into a potentially life-threatening form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
  • The incidence of AK is slightly higher in men, because they tend to spend more time in the sun and use less sun protection than women.

"I'm protected from the sun when I'm racing, but my fans aren't," said Almirola. "Because sun exposure is the cause of most skin cancers, fans should always use sunscreen and see a dermatologist for regular skin checks, especially if they notice something abnormal."

For more information about AK, visit www.AKAwareness.com.

About Actinic Keratosis

AK is a sign of sun damage resulting from long-term exposure to harmful UV rays.  The sun's rays cause changes in the size, shape, and organization of the top layer of skin cells, also known as the epidermis, and just below it. These cellular mutations can then form AKs.

AK is considered a pre-cancer and is often confused with age spots, eczema or psoriasis.  AKs are small, red, sometimes scaly or rough patches that can be found on skin most often exposed to the sun like the face, bald scalp, hands, shoulders and arms. AKs can vary in shape and color, ranging from red to light or dark tan, pink, or a combination of these. These lesions may range from the size of a pinhead to larger than a quarter and may feel dry and rough like sandpaper. In the beginning, AKs can be so small that they are often identified by their rough texture rather than by sight.

Some AKs will develop into a serious form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC. If left unchecked, this cancer can spread to other areas of the body and organs. Because it is difficult to predict whether an AK will develop into cancer, it is important to discuss any changes in your skin with a doctor.

About Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC ("Graceway"), headquartered in Bristol, TN, is a pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, in-licensing, and developing branded prescription pharmaceutical products. Current prescription products marketed by Graceway include Aldara® (imiquimod) Cream, 5%, Maxair®Autohaler® (pirbuterol acetate inhalation aerosol), Atopiclair® Nonsteroidal Cream, and Estrasorb® (estradiol topical emulsion). Aldara®, Maxair®, Autohaler®, Atopiclair®, and Estrasorb® are trademarks owned by or licensed to Graceway. For more information on Graceway's products, including important safety information, please visit www.gracewaypharma.com.

SOURCE Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC

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