WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Dermatologists from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, as well as other dermatologists in the community, will conduct free skin cancer screenings on Thursday, May 8.
The screenings, which do not require an appointment, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the dermatology clinic on the ninth floor of the Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Tower at Wake Forest Baptist.
Participants may receive a spot check or a full-body examination for skin cancer and ask questions about skin care products to protect them from overexposure to the sun. All participants will receive free pamphlets and samples. Parking is free.
Prevention and early detection are key to reducing the risk of skin cancer. Phillip M. Williford, M.D., the director of dermatologic surgery at Wake Forest Baptist, emphasizes that overexposure to the sun and tanning beds are two of the biggest risk factors for developing skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is sponsoring this screening, as well as others across the United States during the month of May. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with about one million new cases diagnosed annually, according to the AAD. The most serious kind of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, kills more than 7,700 people each year.
Risk factors for skin cancer include fair skin, a history of considerable sun exposure, a history of childhood sunburns, use of tanning beds, a family history of skin cancer, a greater-than-average number of moles, and unusually shaped or colored moles or skin growths.
People can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer by:
• Performing monthly self-examinations of the skin
• Getting yearly examinations by a dermatologist
• Wearing hats and other protective clothing when outdoors
• Applying sunscreen liberally about 20 minutes before sun exposure
• Using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30
• Reapplying sunscreen frequently, at least every two hours, if you remain outdoors
• Avoiding exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest
• Avoiding tanning beds
• Using sunless self-tanning products, and
• Getting vitamin D from a healthy diet and supplements, rather than from the sun.
Watch for the warning signs of melanoma that include changes in the surface of a mole, scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a new bump, the spread of pigment from the border of a mole into surrounding skin, and change in sensation including itchiness, tenderness or pain.
For free parking, bring parking tickets to the screening to be stamped. For more information, contact Health On-Call at (336) 716-2255.
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