Free skin cancer screening stresses early detection

Skin Cancer

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are more new cases of skin cancer in the United States each year than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. In fact, skin cancer is so common that one in five Americans will develop the disease in the course of a lifetime.

And it doesn’t just target fair, freckled people. Skin cancer can develop even in people with darker skin, as well as in those who frequent tanning booths and people with a history of melanoma, says Christine Kopistansky, clinical nurse manager in the University of Pennsylvania Health System Department of Dermatology.

To underscore the importance of early detection, Penn Dermatology and the Abramson Cancer Center are presenting a free skin cancer screening on Saturday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to noon. Anyone is welcome, but participants must first register by calling 215-662-2737 (select Option 1, then press 3). The event will be held in Suite 1-330S at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 3400 Civic Center Blvd. The screening is sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology to mark May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

“We try to educate and identify patients who are at risk for developing skin cancer,” Kopistansky says. “It’s really a life-saving message.”

Thirty to 40 physicians will be on hand to give full-body skin exams to participants. If the doctors notice anything questionable, they will make sure people are scheduled for a follow-up appointment with a dermatologist, even if patrons don’t have health insurance. Kopistansky expects about 250 to 300 people to participate in the screening.

For more information, click here and search for “free skin cancer screening.”

Originally published on May 20, 2010