Laura Linney, the 48-year-old star of HBO's hit series "The Big C," is fronting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness about melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers. 


Called Protect Your Skin, the new initiative is the latest outreach by the organization Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and features a print PSA sporting the headline "Wear Your Beauty Brilliantly."


“All it takes is a single reminder for a person to do a self-exam that could save his or her life," says Linney, an SU2C celebrity ambassador. "Melanoma and breast cancer can often be seen and felt, respectively, and the impact of open conversations about cancer and its prevention cannot be underestimated. So talk about cancer. Encourage the women you care about to do a self breast-exam regularly, and everyone to look over their bodies for any strange markings. Communication can curtail cancer, so talk it up!”


According to the MRA, melanoma is the fastest-growing cancer around the world. Even though the disease accounts for only 4 percent of cases of skin cancer, it results in an astounding 80 percent of deaths from skin cancer.


In "The Big C," Linney plays a character dealing with Stage 4 melanoma. In a statement, Debra Black, co-founder of the MRA, praised the actress' efforts to raise cancer awareness both on and off screen. 


“Through her support of the cause and her moving performance on 'The Big C,' Laura has kept melanoma at the forefront of public consciousness, and that work is heartening to all of us at MRA," says Black. "Stand Up To Cancer has helped shake up the culture of cancer research, and we’re excited about working with their esteemed scientists and doctors to find better treatments and, eventually, a cure for melanoma.”


To learn more about melanoma and the steps you can take to prevent it, visit the Protect Your Skin campaign site here


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Laura Linney fronts new skin cancer PSA
Laura Linney, the star of HBO's hit series 'The Big C,' partners with Stand Up to Cancer on a new Protect Your Skin campaign. melanoma is the fastest-growing ca