ALTON – Residents can take advantage of free skin cancer screenings performed by local plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Noor Ahmed Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Cancer Center of Excellence/Radiation Oncology at Saint Clare’s Hospital.
Free sunscreen will be distributed to participants at the screening. Appointments are available between 4:30 and 6 p.m. by calling (618) 465-2264.
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer include:
• Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color).
• Scaliness, oozing, bleeding or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule.
• The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark.
• A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness or pain.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, with more than 2 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer found in United States each year.
For basal cell or squamous cell cancers, a cure is highly likely if detected and treated early. Melanoma, even though it can spread to other body parts quickly, is also highly curable if detected early and treated properly.
Cancer screening tests also are important because cancers found early are easier to treat. People who have had any type of skin cancer should take special care to check for new skin cancers, but screening recommendations for other types of cancer are the same as those for the general population.