Beebe Medical Center offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings in June
As the summer season approaches, Beebe Medical Center's Community Health Program, in conjunction with the Tunnell Cancer Center, reminds the community about the importance of preventing the most common cancer, that which affects the largest organ of the body - the skin.
Beebe, once again, will offer free skin cancer screenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, and Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at the Tunnell Cancer Center at the Beebe Health Campus, John J. Williams Highway, (Route 24), Rehoboth Beach. Beebe physicians volunteer to do the screenings by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Linda Roberts at (302) 645-3100, ext. 2724.
For years, the annual skin cancer screenings, done during Skin Cancer Awareness Month, have been a part of Beebe Medical Center's mission to bring disease-prevention programs to the communities it serves, including those who are un-insured or under-insured.
The American Cancer Society reports that most of the more than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, accounted for about 59,940 cases of skin cancer in 2007 and most (about 8,110) of the 10,850 deaths due to skin cancer each year.
Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays appears to be the most important environmental factor in the cause of the cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns against the use of sun lamps and tanning beds, which can have the same damaging effect as the sun itself.
Skin cancers are divided into 2 major groups: nonmelanoma and melanoma.
While melanoma only accounts in about four percent of skin cancer cases, it causes the most skin cancer deaths.
Nonmelanoma skin cancers -- usually basal cell and squamous cell cancers -- are the most common cancers of the skin. It is highly unusual for a basal cell cancer to spread to distant parts of the body. But if it is not treated, it can grow into nearby areas and invade the bone or other tissues beneath the skin. After treatment, basal cell carcinoma can recur in the same place on the skin. Also, new basal cell cancers can start elsewhere on the skin. Often people who have one basal cell cancer will develop a new skin cancer within the next five years.
Squamous cell carcinomas are more likely to invade fatty tissues just beneath the skin, and slightly more likely to spread to lymph nodes or distant parts of the body than are basal cell carcinomas. There are also several other, much less common types of nonmelanoma skin cancers. These account for less than one percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers.
Beebe Medical Center advises the use of sunscreens, and to remember that children are the most vulnerable and should be protected from the sun with waterproof sunscreen, applied liberally and often, and to be encouraged to stay in the shade whenever possible. Children under the age of six months are too young to be protected by sunscreens and should not be placed in direct sunlight.
Prevention also includes regularly checking one's skin for suspicious moles that change in shape, or patches that are scaly, oozing, bleeding or lumpy. Skin cancer does not necessarily have to be in an area that has been exposed to the sun.
Key Warning Signs to look for on the skin
* A new growth.
* Spot or bump that changes in size, shape or color.
* Sores that don't heal within 3 months.
* Moles that change in size, shape or color.
Always see a healthcare provider if you have a mole or growth that worries you.
Source: American Cancer Society
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org.