Date(s) & Time(s)::
May 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM until 11:00 AM
Location: Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants, 7881 Carnegie Blvd.
The sun is shining and soon the beach will be beckoning – summer is just around the corner and it is the perfect time to be outdoors. But whether it’s a trip to the beach or a quick zip around the yard to mow the lawn, you should protect yourself from the risk of skin cancer.
May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month and the American Cancer Society and Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants are asking families across the area to be sun-safe in the coming months. The organizations are partnering to conduct free skin cancer screenings on Saturday, May 19, from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.., at 7881 Carnegie Blvd., Fort Wayne. To schedule an appointment, please call (260) 469-1437.
“Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years,” said Amanda Turner, health initiatives coordinator for the American Cancer Society.
According to the Society, melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – is expected to be diagnosed in about 76,250 Americans in 2012. Turner notes there are many risk factors for melanoma: overexposure to UV radiation (sunlight); presence of atypical or numerous moles (more than 50); fair skin with blond or red hair; family history; and a weak immune system.
“Certainly fair-skinned people who burn easily and have a history of severe childhood sunburns are at higher risk of getting melanomas,” she said. “But the relationship between sun exposure and melanoma is more complicated than you might think and not completely understood. Genetics also plays a significant role in the incidence of melanoma.”
The good news is most melanomas can be found early and treated successfully if you know what to look for. Know your body and your ABCD’s:
• Asymmetry – one half of the mole does not match the other half
• Border – the edges are ragged, notched or blurred
• Color – the pigmentation is not uniform, with variable degrees of tan, brown or black
• Diameter – the mole is greater than 6 mm or about the size of a pencil eraser
Examine your skin once a month, and if you see something abnormal, talk to your doctor about it immediately. To be safe outdoors, Turner recommends that people plan activities away from the midday sun and to Slip, Slop, Slap ... and Wrap. That is:
• Slip on a shirt
• Slop on sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
• Slap on a hat
• Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light
“One bottle of sunscreen should not last a summer,” Turner says. “For maximum protection, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, never use sunscreen after its expiration date, and apply it liberally before going into the sun. During sun exposure, one full ounce should be re-applied every hour.”
For more information on skin cancer detection or prevention, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
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