Free Skin Cancer Screening at Wake Forest Baptist on May 7

April 29, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Dermatologists from across the community will conduct free skin cancer screenings on Thursday, May 7, in the dermatology clinic at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

The screenings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the dermatology clinic on the ninth floor of the Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Tower at Wake Forest Baptist. No appointment is necessary.

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.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) sponsors this screening, as well as others across the United States during the month of May. The Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist also sponsors this screening.
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 8,200 people each year.

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.

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 more information, contact Health On-Call at (336) 716-2255.

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