ROYAL OAK — The number of new cases of skin cancer has been increasing for more than 30 years in the United States. Melanoma, a type of cancer that starts in the pigment-producing skin cells, is the cause of most skin cancer deaths.
Beaumont dermatologists will host a free skin cancer screening at the Beaumont Medical Center, Sterling Heights, 44344 Dequindre Road, Suite 350 (across from Beaumont Hospital, Troy), on Monday, May 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Screenings are scheduled by appointment. Adults 18 years and older can register for a free skin cancer screening online at classes.beaumont.edu or call toll-free (800) 633-7377.
“We are hoping to encourage early detection and increase awareness of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer,” said dermatologist Roxana Chapman, D.O., organizer of the free screenings on Melanoma Monday, the first Monday in May, designated by The American Academy of Dermatology. “With early detection, melanoma has a high cure rate.”
In the United States, there were approximately 68,000 new cases of melanoma in 2010 and 8,700 deaths. This number is expected to significantly increase. Part of the increase in incidence is due to the greater awareness of melanoma, with more people checking their own skin for unusual growths and coming in for professional skin examinations. Men are more likely than women to have advanced melanoma, partly because they don’t seek medical attention early enough. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common cancer in women. With early detection, diagnosis and treatment, this type of cancer can be cured.
The majority of melanoma cases result from environmental factors, such as sun exposure. However, people who are at a higher risk for melanoma include those with exposure to ultraviolet light found in tanning lamps; people with numerous moles; people with fair skin, freckles, or red or blond hair; those with a family history of melanoma; those who have had melanoma; people with a weak immune system; and men, who have a higher rate of melanoma than women.
For people newly diagnosed with melanoma, Beaumont offers a multidisciplinary Melanoma Cancer Clinic that brings together a team of cancer experts on a single day in one location to develop an accelerated, individualized treatment plan. Clinic services can be accessed through a referral from a Beaumont primary care or oncology physician, or by calling toll-free 877-BEAT-CANCER (877-232-8226).
The Beaumont Cancer Institute is one of only 47 Community Clinical Oncology Programs in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute to provide patients with access to leading-edge cancer clinical research trials. Beaumont is designated as a Blue Cross Center of Distinction for the Treatment of Rare and Complex Cancers.