Skin Cancer Screening Slated for May 15
May is recognized as Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), this type of cancer is America’s most common type of cancer diagnosed. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Thankfully, skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. By sharing facts about how to protect our skin, we all can be a part of saving lives.
As shared by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), protection from ultraviolet radiation (UV) is important all year, not just during the summer. UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. Indoor tanning (using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan) exposes users to UV radiation.
The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the United States. CDC recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation:
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Symptoms of skin cancer can include a sore that does not heal, changes in how an area feels, such as itching, tenderness, or pain, changes in the skin’s surface, such as oozing, bleeding, or dry/scaly patches, new or changing moles, and/or swelling or redness beyond the border of a mole.
“Skin cancers are the most common type of cancer in the United States. However, the earlier skin cancers are detected, the better the survival rate,” said Karen D. Wong, DO, Family Practice, Holzer Resident.
To bring awareness to skin cancer, Holzer Clinic Jackson is hosting a free skin cancer screening Saturday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12noon. Walk-ins are accepted; however individuals can make appointments for the screening. Call 740.395.8642 to schedule an appointment or for additional information.
Dr. Wong shared information on those who would like to attend the upcoming skin cancer screening, “Prior to the screening, keep note of any spots that have changed or have newly appeared. Come with clean, dry skin and wear comfortable clothing that are loose fitting or that you can change out of easily into our exam gowns.”
If you are unable to attend the screening, Dr. Wong suggests having a close friend or family member assist in examining hard to reach areas, such as your back. Mirrors can be used to check behind the neck and ears which are commonly missed areas. A hair dryer set on the cool setting can be used to check the scalp.
Please contact your primary care provider if you have questions or concerns about your risk for skin cancer. Visit www.holzer.org or call 1-855-446-5937 for information on Holzer’s services. For more information on skin cancer, visit www.skincancer.org.