It’s so unfortunate when a patient waits too long to be screened and melanoma is found way too late, as it’s very treatable if found early
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (PRWEB) May 06, 2013
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month this May, Floridians can get free skin cancer screenings at several Water’s Edge Dermatology clinics.
Free skin cancer screenings are by appointment and take place at the following Water's Edge clinics: Sebring on May 7 and May 28; Vero Beach on May 16; Lighthouse Point and Delray Beach on May 20; and Palm Bay on May 23.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, with one in five people having some form of skin cancer. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,600 cases of skin cancer in 2013, resulting in roughly 9,000 deaths annually.
“It’s so unfortunate when a patient waits too long to be screened and melanoma is found way too late, as it’s very treatable if found early,” says Justin Platzer, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs skin cancer surgeon at Water’s Edge Dermatology.
Darlene Moore of West Palm Beach, Fla., echoes Dr. Platzer’s sentiment of the importance of diagnosing melanoma early. During a regular skin cancer screening at Water’s Edge Dermatology, Shanna Stone, ARNP, saw a few areas of concern on Ms. Moore’s ear and arm and took biopsies. Ms. Moore was diagnosed with Stage 1 melanoma on her arm and basal cell carcinoma on her ear.
“The basal cell, frankly, I wasn’t as concerned about,” says Ms. Moore. “Dr. Platzer reassured me that Mohs surgery was very effective for basal cell carcinoma and he was able to get it all. But I was really concerned about melanoma, because my brother-in-law died of melanoma.”
Surgery is the best way to remove early melanomas, with later stages usually requiring more extensive treatment, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Mohs surgery saves the greatest amount of healthy tissue, appears to reduce the rate of local recurrence and has the highest overall cure rate — about 94 percent to 99 percent — of any treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. And generally, Mohs surgery is 98 percent or better for basal cell carcinoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
“As the old saying goes, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” says Dr. Platzer. “Say no to tanning beds and always wear sunscreen. And, if you live in sunny Florida, it is critical to have regular skin cancer screenings—and there’s no better time than this month, while we’re offering screenings for free.”
Many of Water’s Edge Dermatology clinics are open Saturdays and late during the workweek. To make an appointment, visit http://www.WeDerm.com and fill out the online appointment form, email info(at)WeDerm(dot)com or call 561-694-9493 for more information.
Side Bar: Water’s Edge Dermatology recommends the following tips to have fun in the sun and reduce risk for skin cancer at the same time:
- Generously and regularly apply water-resistant sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Make sure the sunscreen is labeled as “broad-spectrum,” indicating it protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating—and use it year-round.
- Use extra caution when taking sun-sensitizing medications or are near water, snow and sand. Some over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, and prescription drugs, such as antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Water, snow and sand can reflect and/or intensify sun rays, making it easier to burn.
- Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants, a wide-brimmed hat that provides more coverage than a baseball hat and UVA/UVB protective sunglasses.
- Seek shade during the middle of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest, and try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day—even when it is cloudy.
- Say no to tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer. New self-tanning lotions and spray booths provide a tan without the risk of cancer.
- Check your entire body routinely and report skin changes to your dermatologist. New growths, changes in existing moles or bleeding on the skin, require an immediate appointment with a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
About Water’s Edge Dermatology
Water’s Edge Dermatology is a leading dermatology practice for medical, surgical and cosmetic skin care in Florida, specializing in skin cancer prevention and treatment. With its convenient locations and an experienced team of medical professionals, Water’s Edge Dermatology provides patient-centered, compassionate care and serious medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of the most simple and difficult skin cases. For more information, visit http://www.WeDerm.com.
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