SSDP doctors set sights on skin cancer detection and prevention
It’s the time of year when the sun shines brightly, flowers bloom boldly and the doctors at South Shore Dermatology Physicians (SSDP) conduct free public skin cancer screenings in partnership with Good Samaritan Medical Center (GSMC) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). SSDP physicians have participated in the program since the practice’s founding.
SSDP Board certified dermatologists Motunrayo Adisa, MD, Amy S. Chang, MD, Viraj Shroff-Mehta, MD, and Christine Urman, MD, examined 37 individuals at the annual Free Skin Cancer Screening Clinics at GSMC on Tuesday, May 3, and Wednesday, May 4. Sixteen percent of the participants were advised to undergo follow-up biopsies of suspicious lesions on their skin.
Of the 18 women and 19 men examined, approximately half agreed to undergo full-body exams; four requested specific lesions be evaluated. Six individuals indicated they had had skin cancer in the past and 15 people said they had a family history of skin cancer. Forty-six percent of the participants reported they would not have seen a doctor for a skin cancer check without the free screenings.
According to the AAD, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with one in five Americans expected to develop the illness in their lifetime. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is the most common form of cancer for young adults aged 25-29 and the second most common form of cancer for young people aged 15-29. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun, and about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas) are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women aged 45 and younger.
“Skin cancer awareness happens year-round at South Shore Dermatology Physicians,” explains SSDP dermatologist Amy S. Chang, MD. “We urge everyone to protect themselves from skin cancer by following these simple steps:
- Seek shade when the sun is strongest;
- Wear protective clothing when you’re outdoors;
- Slather on sunscreen every day, (even if it’s cloudy);
- Avoid sun exposure and indoor tanning beds;
- Be careful around reflective surfaces like water, sand, and snow; and
- Check your skin regularly for spots that are changing, growing or bleeding.
If you have questions about your skin, contact SSDP at 508.535.3376 to schedule an appointment with one of our Board certified dermatologists.