UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge
will be hosting free skin cancer screenings at 3rd Thursday Fit Night, hosted by Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. Fort Dodge, on Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and early detection is crucial, which is why a screening or appointment with your family doctor/dermatologist is so important.
Free Skin Cancer Screening
at Brown’s 3rd Thursday Fit Night
Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. Fort Dodge
Appointments or Walk-Ins Welcome
Call (515) 574-6850 to schedule your screening!
From least to most dangerous, the American Cancer Society reports the three most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, amounting to nearly 8 out of 10 skin cancers found in individuals. Basal cell carcinoma normally develops on sun-exposed areas, particularly the head and neck.
About 2 in 10 individuals with skin cancer are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, appearing on sun-exposed areas of the body – the face, ears, neck, lips, and backs of hands. It can also appear as chronic skin sores or scars.
Melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases but causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths because of its ability to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, but most likely appears on the chest, back or legs.
Nearly 90% of damage to the skin cells’ DNA results from ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight and tanning beds. However, skin cancer can develop in those who have had little lifetime exposure to sunlight. Other potential causes of skin cancer include:
- Family History of Skin Cancer – Those with parents or siblings with skin cancer may have increased risk for developing the disease.
- Weakened Immune System – People with weakened immune systems (particularly those with HIV/AIDS and those taking immunosuppressant drugs after organ transplant) have a higher risk for skin cancer.
- Exposure to Radiation – Having radiation treatment for skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, increases risk for skin cancer.
- Exposure to Chemicals – Those exposed to certain substances, especially coal and arsenic compounds, may have a higher risk for skin cancer.
Spotting the signs of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, in its earliest stages is key to survival. Once a month, examine your skin for any suspicious mole growth or changes. As you examine, use the ABCDEs of melanoma and schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately if you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions:
A – Asymmetry
– If you draw a line through your mole, do the two halves look different?
B – Border
– Are the edges uneven, scalloped or notched?
C – Color
– Does it appear to contain a variety of colors or shades of brown, tan, or black?
D – Diameter
– Is the diameter larger than the size of an eraser (1/4 inch)?
E – Evolving
– Is it changing in size, shape, color, or elevation? Are symptoms changing, such as bleeding, itching, or crusting? All lesions that appear to be changing, growing, or look different than ordinary moles or spots, should be checked by your family doctor or a dermatologist.
A few mole colors that raise more concern than others are:
- Red moles – Red moles can be a cause for concern, especially if mixed in with a brown or black mole. Cherry angiomas are mole-like and red, however are rarely a concern. They’re a collection of small blood vessels common in people over the age of 30. However, if they change in appearance, talk to your doctor.
- Pink, white, and blue moles – All are cause for concern. Sometimes these colors are mixed in with a brown or black moles, which could be a sign of melanoma.
Knowing your risk factors for skin cancer, including how to prevent and detect the disease, are important aspects of your overall health routine. From skin cancer prevention to diagnosis and treatment, UnityPoint Clinic Kenyon Road – Dermatology and the Norma Schmoker Cancer Center have the knowledge and expertise to help you enjoy your life, without risking your health.
Please join UnityPoint Clinic Kenyon Road – Dermatology and the Norma Schmoker Cancer Center at Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. Fort Dodge (210 S 25th Street) on September 15 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00p.m. for your free skin cancer screening and to enjoy a fun, family-friendly fitness event. Interested individuals can schedule an appointment in advance or walk-in during the event. To schedule an appointment, please call Patty Grossnickle, Norma Schmoker Cancer Center Coordinator, at (515) 574-6850. Anyone who receives a skin cancer screening and participates in Fit Night will be entered into a drawing to win a prize at the end of the night.
For more information on skin cancer and its prevention, go to The Skin Cancer Foundation website, at www.skincancer.org. The Foundation not only has extensive information on the appearance and treatment of skin cancers and pre-cancers, it has recommendations on sunscreens and other sun protective methods that have been tested to make sure that they work as advertised.
Carey Bligard, MD
UnityPoint Clinic Kenyon Road – Dermatology
800 Kenyon Rd. Suite U
Fort Dodge, IA 50501