Free Skin Cancer Screenings Set for May 15 at U.Va. Medical Center

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Marian Anderfuren:

May 10, 2010 — An estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, most cases are treatable when caught early.

The University of Virginia Medical Center's Dermatology Clinic will hold free skin cancer screenings on May 15 from 8 a.m. to noon. The screenings are done in private exam rooms and are a quick way to have any suspicious moles or spots on your skin checked.

Appointments are required. Call 1-800-223-9173 to register or for information.

Dr. Mark Russell, vice chairman of the Department of Dermatology, said the incidence of skin cancer is much higher than it was once thought. He said a recent study showed more than 3 million cases were diagnosed in 2006, far higher than the 1 million cases researchers expected.

"That's at least as many skin cancer diagnoses as all other cancers combined," he said.

People who should consider screening are those with a family history or previous history of skin cancer. Those with blond or red hair and blue or green eyes are also more susceptible, he said.

For information about skin cancer screenings, visit the American Academy of Dermatology website.