Anyone who’s spent any time in the sun without some skin protection should keep a close eye on their skin’s condition.
May is skin cancer awareness month. So if you feel you may be at risk for skin cancer, this is the perfect opportunity to be screened by a dermatologist.
On Thursday, May 2, dermatologist Dr. Beverly Held and her staff will be hosting a free skin cancer screening event.
“We are doing our free screening for the month of May, and now this is our third year to do it. Last year, we found three new skin cancers and a malignant melanoma on our screening,” said Held.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the country.
“I think people are more aware of skin cancer; I think that the Academy of Dermatology has done a good job of promoting the screening and skin cancer awareness, and that people are supposed to be wearing sunblock and protecting their skin,” said Held.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and fortunately, skin cancers are easily treated if diagnosed early.
“I just go by anything that is growing and changing. If you have a spot, and it is growing and not going away, it’s been there for more than 6 or 8 weeks, then it should be looked at,” said Held.
The goal for this free event is to educate individuals on risk factors for skincancer and what precautions to take.
“We are seeing more of the malignant melanoma and of course, those are the most fatal of the common type of skin cancer that we see. People are actually going to gain awareness if they know there is a screening and that they can come,” said Held.
The free screenings will be conducted by Dr. Beverly Held on Thursday, May 3rd at 5756 S. Staples, Suite J2. Wear comfortable clothing and call ahead to schedule a time slot: 361-993-3190.
Everybody is at risk, even those with dark skin. The best protection is protective clothing, and sunblock is the next best thing when apply properly.
To detect skin cancer early, regularly examine your skin head-to-toe and watch for changes. Learn where your moles are and their usual look and feel.
Look for growth and changes:
· a new mole (that looks different from your other moles)
· a new red or darker color flaky patch that may be a little raised
· a change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole
Also look for patches that are dark red, asymmetrical, uneven in color or larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or have irregular or ragged borders.
Any abnormalities should be reported to your physician.