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Contact:
Saint Louis University Call Center
Phone: 314.268.5880

October 1, 2003

School of Medicine Offers Free Skin Cancer Screening

ST. LOUIS -- Most Americans still don't know about the warning signs of one of the most common types of skin cancer. Caused by cumulative sun exposure, actinic keratosis (AK) is very common - affecting as many as 10 million Americans - more than all skin cancers combined.

Faculty members and residents from Saint Louis University department of dermatology will conduct a free skin cancer screening (on exposed parts of the body only) on Monday, Oct. 27 and Tuesday, Oct. 28 from noon to 6 p.m.

On Monday, screenings will be held at the dermatology clinic, located at the Anheuser Busch Institute, 1755 S. Grand Blvd. On Tuesday, doctors will be at SLUCare Des Peres, located at 2325 Dougherty Ferry Rd., Suite 100. The screening event will also offer visitors free educational information about AK and skin cancer.

AK appears as rough, red, scaly patches, crusts or sores on the top layer of the skin, and many people do not recognize, or are ignoring them. Left untreated, AK may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, the second leading cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States. Because AK takes years to develop, the condition usually first appears in older people -- although cases have been reported in people in their 40s and 50s.

The incidence of skin cancer in the U.S. is rising dramatically. According to the American Cancer Society, during 2003 there will be over 7,600 deaths from melanoma and 2,200 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. However, if caught and treated in the early stages, all skin cancer has a 95 percent cure rate.

The screening event is made possible by an educational grant from 3M Pharmaceuticals. 3M Pharmaceuticals is partnering with dermatology residency programs nationwide to heighten public awareness of actinic keratosis and skin cancer.

Please call the Saint Louis University Call Center at (314) 268-5880 to schedule an appointment.

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