Dermatologists Offer Free Skin Cancer Checks Nov. 20

November 05, 2004

Most Americans don’t know about the warning signs of one of the most common types of skin cancer. Actinic keratosis (AK), caused by cumulative sun exposure, is very common – affecting as many as 10 million Americans – more than all skin cancers combined. 

Dermatology residents from the University of Rochester Medical Center will conduct a free skin cancer screening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Mall at Greece Ridge Center entrance near Critic’s Restaurant. There will also be educational information on actinic keratosis, skin cancers and the Wilmot Cancer Center.

AK appears as rough, red, scaly patches, crusts or sores on the top layer of the skin, and many people do not recognize, or are ignoring them.  Left untreated, AK may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, the second leading cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States.  Because AK takes years to develop, the condition usually first appears in aging adults -- although cases have been reported in people in their 40s and 50s.

In the United States, skin cancer incidence is rising dramatically. According to the American Cancer Society, during 2004 there are expected to be over 7,910 deaths from melanoma and 1,000 to 2,000 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.  However, if diagnosed in the early stages, skin cancer is treatable and, in most cases, curable.

The screening event is sponsored by 3M Pharmaceuticals, a division of 3M Health

For more information, contact Fran Parrish at (585) 275-1976.

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For Media Inquiries:
Leslie White
(585) 273-1119
Email Leslie White