Published on April 25, 2012

Genesis Offers Free Skin Cancer Screening

The most common form of cancer also is one of the most treatable and preventable, but if left untreated, skin cancer can be deadly.

May is National Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month and Quad Cities residents are being urged to take advantage of a free skin cancer screening. The screening will be held from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 at the Genesis Cancer Care Institute, located at Genesis Medical Center, 1401 West Central Park Ave., Davenport.

The screening is for people who have not previously had a screening for skin cancer. Appointments are required and can be made by going to www.genesishealth.com/classes and clicking on screenings. You may also call (563) 421-8667 and leave a message.

Participants should use the Atrium entrance located on the Central Park Ave. side of the hospital to attend the screening.

The annual free screening is offered by Genesis to increase public awareness about malignant melanoma and other skin cancers. Malignant melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Once malignant melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, the cancer is often deadly. It is estimated that there will be 76,250 new cases of melanoma this year and melanoma will cause nearly 9,200 deaths.

While the incidence of many common cancers is falling and survival rates are rising, the incidence of melanoma continues to increase at a rate faster than any of the seven most common cancers. Melanoma accounts for about 5 percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths.

Skin cancers are highly curable if detected and treat in the earliest stages.

It is important for patients to recognize changes on their skin and to have their skin assessed on a regular basis by their health care provider.

If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor:

  • Any change on the skin, especially in the size or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented growth or spot, or a new growth.
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule.
  • The spread of pigmentation beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark. 
  • A change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain.
     

Risk factors for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers include:

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Fair complexion
  • Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium
  • Family history 
  • Multiple or atypical moles
  • Severe sunburns as a child

The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety. You can continue to exercise and enjoy the outdoors while practicing sun safety at the same time.

All cosmetics on the skin should be removed prior to the screening. Participants may choose to have sun-exposed areas such as arms, legs and the face evaluated, or can receive a full-body screen for which they should wear a bathing suit under clothing.

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1227 E. Rusholme Street Davenport, IA 52803 563-421-1000