SLUCare Dermatology Offers Free Skin Cancer ScreeningsEvent Details: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., May 05
ST. LOUIS - A SLUCare doctor who treats skin cancer warns St. Louisans not to ignore a common skin problem that could lead to skin cancer.
"People often don't understand that the rough, red, scaly patches, crusts or sores on the top layer of their skin can become problematic and eventually fatal if untreated," says Scott Fosko, M.D. chairman of the department of dermatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Doctors stress that the best way to catch skin cancer early is through screenings. The Saint Louis University department of dermatology and Saint Louis University Cancer Center are holding free skin cancer screenings from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 5 at SLUCare Des Peres, 2325 Dougherty Ferry Road Ste. 100. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (314) 977-4440 or (866) 977-4440. Screening times held the same day at the Anheuser-Busch Institute, 1755 S. Grand Blvd., are currently filled; however, those who are interested can be placed on a waiting list should spots open up.
Fosko said that he is seeing more patients of all ages coming in somewhat sooner because of lots of exposure to ultraviolet rays, from both natural sunlight and tanning salons.
“The earlier the skin cancer is found, the easier it is to treat and the less involved it can be for the patient,” said Fosko, who also is director of the melanoma and cutaneous oncology section of the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. “If caught and treated in the early stages, all types of skin cancer are treatable and in most cases, curable.”
Regular skin screenings are recommended for everyone, especially those over 40 years of age, and individuals at higher risk for skin cancer, those with a fair complexion, sunburn easily, have numerous moles, a personal or family history of skin cancer, and by occupation, recreation or use of tanning salons, get significant sun or ultraviolet rays exposure, regardless of age or race. During a screening, a dermatologist will check moles, birth marks and other pigmentations for signs of cancer, which include abnormal size, color, shape or texture.
Skin Cancer Facts: According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. As many as one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and is the leading cancer in young adults, 25-29 years old. It is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells and may appear on the skin suddenly without warning or develop on an existing mole. There are several warning signs of melanoma.
Identifying these signs is as easy as ABCDE:
Asymmetry - one half is unlike the other half
Border - irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
Color - varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue
Diameter - while melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller
Evolving - a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color
SLUCare, the physician practice of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, is the only academic medical practice in St. Louis that is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. This accreditation is a voluntary process through which the quality of SLUCare services and performance is measured against nationally recognized standards. To schedule an appointment, call 314-977-4440 or 1-866-977-4440. More information is available at www.slucare.edu.