Dermatologists at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital will provide free skin cancer screening appointments for the public. Lake Forest Hospital’s event will be held on May 19 in its Hunter Family Center for Women’s Health at 660 N. Westmoreland road in Lake Forest, on May 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Registration for the Lake Forest event can be done over the phone by calling 847-535-7441.
Northwestern Memorial’s event will take place in the hospital’s Arkes Pavilion at 676 N. St. Clair in Chicago on April 29, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration can be done online using the following link: http://bit.ly/1FzCLkD.
The screenings are by appointment only, and patients are asked to register as early as possible.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America and affects all skin types. It is estimated that roughly one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime, including its deadliest form melanoma.
“The best way to detect skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage is to regularly check your skin to see if you have a new spot or growth, a change in a mole or if you develop a sore that won’t heal,” said Mary C. Martini, MD, director of the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Clinic for Northwestern Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “But even regular self-examination isn’t perfect and you can’t see all of your skin properly by yourself, which is why seeing a dermatologist for an annual checkup can be so important and save lives.”
Expert organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Dermatologists recommend patients remember the “A-B-C-D-E’s of melanoma” when looking over a spot or mole:
“A” for asymmetrical, does it have an irregular shape or two parts that look very different?
“B” for border, is its border irregular, hard to describe or jagged?
“C” for color, is its color uneven, varying from one side to another?
“D” for diameter, is it larger than 6mm or larger than roughly the size of a pea?
“E” for evolving, has it changed during the past few weeks or months in color, size or shape?
If the answer to any of these letters is yes, then it is strongly recommended that a dermatologist be consulted as soon as possible.
“Having your skin examined thoroughly by a dermatologist is very important, even if you don’t have any immediate concerns,” added Northwestern Medicine dermatologist Tina Venetos, MD. “There is more than one kind of skin cancer and there is even a wide variation in how specific forms appear, which is why an expert review by a trained healthcare professional is key.”
To learn more about how to keep your skin safe and healthy, visit nmgdermatology.nm.org or call 312-926-DOCS (3627).