Free Skin Cancer Screenings

05/13/14

The Center for Healthy Living Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings

The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital is offering free community skin cancer screenings in recognition of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May.

Winchester Hospital physicians will be available to evaluate particular areas of concern and provide educational materials on Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 28 from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.  at Winchester Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care, 620 Washington St. in Winchester. Registration is required by calling The Center for Healthy Living at (781) 756-4720.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3.5 million cases non-melanoma skin cancer, which usually develops on sun-exposed areas of the body but rarely spreads, and more than 76,000 cases of malignant melanoma, which is more serious and can cause death were diagnosed last year in the U.S. Of the 12,000 skin cancer deaths each year, 9,000 people died from melanoma.

Ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure is thought to be the major risk factor for most skin cancers. Sunburns, the markers of intense UV exposure, remain common among adolescents despite extensive publicity around skin cancer prevention and evidence that excessive sun exposure in childhood contributes to the risk of skin cancers later in life. Susceptibility to UV damage is higher among individuals with fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, the presence of moles and freckles or a history of severe sunburns early in life.                                                      

 

Fortunately, skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. To protect against UV radiation, the American Cancer Society recommends:

·                     Wear protective clothing in the sun. Wear a hat that shades the face, neck and ears. Plan outdoor activities to avoid the midday sun.

·                     Examine the skin regularly. Suspicious lesions or progressive changes in a lesion’s appearance or size should be evaluated promptly by a physician.

·                     Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from UV light.

·                     Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and apply a generous amount (about a palmful) 15 to 20 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply sunscreen as necessary throughout the day, especially after swimming, perspiring or towel drying. Use sunscreen even on hazy days.

·                     Avoid artificial sources of UV light such as sunlamps and tanning beds.

·                     Remember this important sun safety tip: “Slip! Slop! Slap!” Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and slap on a hat.

About The Center for Health Living at Winchester Hospital

The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital is committed to helping community members take responsibility for their health and well-being by offering the education and resources that change lives. Established in 1996, The Center for Healthy Living now offers more than 30 programs and services throughout the year with offerings in disease management, childbirth, integrative therapies, fitness, yoga, Tai Chi/Qi Gong, CPR and first aid, weight management, career services and support groups. The center is also home to two retail services; A Caring Place, which features wigs, bras, prostheses and head coverings for women living with cancer; and the Lactation Center Boutique, which offers the highest-quality breastfeeding supplies and support. Unless otherwise indicated within the program’s description, for more information or to register, please call the Center for Healthy Living at (781) 756-4700 or visit www.winchesterhospital.org.