Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
With the season for outdoor activity set to begin, the doctors and staff of South Shore Dermatology Physicians (SSDP) in Easton are focusing attention on the dangers of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer through a new public awareness campaign.
Beginning on Monday, May 6, which was designated as Melanoma Monday® by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and continuing weekly throughout the month, the physicians and staff at SSDP will don brightly colored t-shirts bearing the message, “Peace Love Your Skin,” accompanied by an image of Sun SPF 30 sunscreen. The orange, hot pink, and key lime-colored garments are being used to spread the word about the dangers of melanoma and skin cancer and the benefits of early detection.
In addition, SSDP physicians Leera M. Briceno, MD, Amy S. Chang, MD, Katalin Kovalszki, MD, and Jay M. Ritt, MD, conducted free public Skin Cancer Screenings at Good Samaritan Medical Center (GSMC), in Brockton, on Monday, May 6, and Thursday, May 9. Approximately 50 individuals were examined during the two 90-minute screenings. Many skin conditions were diagnosed, including a basal cell carcinoma and numerous pre-cancerous skin lesions. The patients were advised to follow up with a Board certified dermatologist for treatment.
SSDP’s annual participation in GSMC’s free Skin Cancer screenings are an integral part of the group’s longstanding support for the AAD’s nationwide effort to reduce the number of deaths from skin cancer in the US. The 2013 Skin Cancer Screenings were held in the GSMC Radiation Oncology Center. Many GSMC staff and volunteers also took part in the program.
SSDP Practice Manager Tina Botelho says the practice’s five Board certified dermatologists regularly discuss sun protection and skin cancer awareness with patients and hand out written materials about the warning signs of melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease. Since melanoma is usually curable when found early and treated, the SSDP physicians advise patients to examine their moles regularly for the warning signs of melanoma known by the acronym ABCDE, including: A=Asymmetry, one half is unlike the other half; B=Border an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border; C=Color, color varies from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes, white, red, or blue; D=Diameter, usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser), but it can be smaller; and E=Evolution, a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
In 2010, the SSDP dermatologists provided 54 free skin cancer screenings at GSMC and diagnosed 34 skin lesions, including eight skin cancers and one melanoma. Nearly two-thirds of the screening participants said they would not have seen a doctor for their skin without attending the free Skin Cancer Screenings provided by SSDP.
The most common form of cancer
“Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the most common cancer for 25- to 29-year-olds,” explains dermatologist Jay M. Ritt, MD. “SSDP is proud to support the AAD’s annual Skin Cancer Awareness campaign so that southeastern Massachusetts residents can enjoy healthy skin for life.”