URMC Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings May 11

Local providers volunteer to conduct screenings to detect skin cancer; other related problems

April 26, 2013

The University of Rochester Medical Center has partnered with the Rochester Dermatologic Society and the American Academy of Dermatology to host a free cancer screening on Saturday, May 11 from 8 a.m.-noon. The screenings will be held in the Dermatology Suite at Strong Memorial Hospital, located on the second floor of the Ambulatory Care Facility.

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined, according to the American Center Society, with an estimated 76,690 new cases of invasive melanoma, a skin cancer related to UV exposure, diagnosed in the U.S. in 2013.   

“Sun damage is cumulative and includes exposures that can seem just a part of our daily lives such as walking the dog, mowing the lawn or a trip to the store,” said Marc Brown, M.D., professor of Dermatology and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center. “Making a skin cancer screening part of your annual routine will not only ensure that you are identifying a current issue, but also uncovering any risk factors for the future.”

Brown also recommends the following ways to protect your skin from the sun:

  • Apply sunscreen—your skin can be damaged by the sun in as little as 15 minutes. Apply sunscreen, with SPF 30 or greater and both UVA and UVB protection, 15-20 minutes before you go outside. Don’t forget areas such as the back of your neck, top of your ears arms and legs, and scalp if you’ve lost some hair. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming or actively sweating.
  • Wear a hat and loose-fitting clothing—a hat with a four-inch brim will shade more than 95 percent of the face, head, ears and neck. Wear light-weight clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Avoid the most intense sunlight—schedule activities in the early morning or late afternoon to keep out of the most intense sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Don’t tan indoors—getting a base tan from a tanning bed or booth will not provide protection from sun damage, and has been linked to skin cancers.

Each screening takes about five minutes. A written report of findings will be given to each participant. Information on skin cancer and skin cancer prevention will also be available. For more information about the free screening clinic, contact the Dermatology Department at (585) 275-3871.

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Leslie Orr
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