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Free Skin Cancer Screenings Offered by Evansville Cancer Center and Area Dermatologists

April 29, 2005 - Several free full body skin cancer screenings will be held through-out the month of May to coincide with Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, sponsored by Evansville Cancer Center, area dermatologists and the American Academy of Dermatology. The screenings are part of a national campaign to encourage early detection and teach prevention of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in this country. Over 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year with 105,750 of those cases being melanoma. The Academy’s national detection and prevention program is in its 21st year and is being launched this year on May 2, which has been designated Melanoma Monday, to raise awareness of melanoma and urge Americans to regularly examine their skin for signs of this serious form of skin cancer.

Below is a list of screenings being offered by board certified dermatologist free for our community:

Evansville Cancer Center - Tuesday, May 4th, 5 - 7 p.m. - Dr. Shari Barrett
Evansville Cancer Center - Thursday, May 6th, 5 - 7 p.m. - Dr. Jane Lim
Evansville Cancer Center - Tuesday, May 26th, 5 - 7 p.m. - Dr. Mary Tisserand

“We want everyone to consider Melanoma Monday the first day of a lifelong habit of examining their skin,” said Dr. Shari Barrett, Chairperson, Tri-State Dermatology Journal Club. “Melanoma Monday is like New Years for dermatologists. It’s a day when we encourage everyone to start a new habit.”

Skin self-examinations consist of periodically looking over your body for any changes in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole, the development of a new mole or any other unusual changes in the skin. Any of these signs should be reported to a dermatologist right away. To do a thorough exam, it’s important to use a full-length and hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your head, your back and buttocks. Don’t forget places like your scalp, the soles of your feet and between your toes, under your arms and the palms of your hands.

A recent survey commissioned by the Academy showed that fewer than one third of Americans currently examine their skin for signs of melanoma and more than half don’t know the signs of melanoma. Dermatologists want to change this because when treated in its earliest stages, melanoma can be cured. If not treated early, the disease can quickly spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.

“The key to the successful treatment of most types of cancer is early detection and treatment,” Dr. Barrett said. “With skin cancers, early detection is often possible because the signs are right there visible on the surface of the skin.”

105,750 new cases of melanoma are expected to occur in 2005, and 10,590 people are expected to die of skin cancer. Since the 1930s, the incidence of melanoma has increased more than 2000 percent. One person dies of melanoma every hour. Evansville Cancer Center and local members of the American Academy of Dermatology invite the public to take advantage of the free full body skin cancer screenings/educational offerings during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of the screenings being offered, call Evansville Cancer Center at 812-473-8797.

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