Free Skin Cancer Screening at WFUBMC

May 12, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Dermatologists from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and the community will conduct a free skin cancer screening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 18 at the Medical Center’s dermatology clinic, ninth floor, Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Tower.

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. Free pamphlets will be given to all that attend.

“Skin cancer can be cured if detected early and that is why we encourage yearly skin screenings,” said Phillip M. Williford, M.D., associate professor of dermatology and director of dermatologic surgery at Wake Forest Baptist. “Overexposure to the sun and tanning beds are two of the biggest risk factors for developing skin cancer.”

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with about one million new cases diagnosed annually. The most serious kind of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, kills more than 7,700 people annually.

The chances of eventually getting skin cancer are one in six. Risk factors include:
• Fair skin.
• A history of working outdoors or considerable sun exposure.
• A history of childhood sunburns.
• A family history of skin cancer.
• A greater-than-average number of moles.
• Unusually shaped or colored moles or skin growths.

The risk of developing skin cancer can be reduced by:
• Performing monthly self-examinations of the skin and 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 direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Warning signs of melanoma include:
• Changes in the surface of a mole.
• Scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a new bump.
• Spread of pigment from the border of a mole into surrounding skin.
• Change in sensation including itchiness, tenderness or pain.

No appointment is needed for the screening, and parking is free. Contact Health On-Call at 336-716-2255 for more information.


Media Contacts: Lisa Long,, Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

Media Relations