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Free Screenings for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May 9, 2007

Melanie N. Cross
mcross@tulane.edu

Sunlight provides much that is beneficial and even necessary to life and good health. Tanning and burning, however, are not among those benefits -- there is no such thing as a "healthy tan." Overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of the most common cancer in the United States, skin cancer.

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There is no such thing as a "healthy tan," doctors say, so beachgoers need to be extra cautious to avoid overexposure to the sun. Tulane is offering free skin cancer screenings on May 21 in conjunction with National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


During May, National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the Tulane Cancer Center is offering free skin cancer screenings.

On Monday, May 21, participants will receive a head-to-toe physical skin assessment by a Tulane dermatologist. The screenings (by appointment) will be from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Tulane Cancer Center Comprehensive Clinic, 150 S. Liberty St., in downtown New Orleans.

"Screenings offer the best chance for catching cancer early, when it is most curable," says Roy S. Weiner, director of the Tulane Cancer Center. "We encourage everyone to take charge of their health and schedule a free screening today."

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.3 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year.

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, accounts for about 3 percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes most skin cancer deaths. The number of new cases of melanoma in the United States is on the rise. In 2007 there will be 59,940 new cases of melanoma in this country, and about 8,110 people will die of this disease.

"Melanoma is a potentially lethal skin cancer that can be recognized early, treated and literally cured," says Erin Boh, professor of dermatology. "Early recognition of the danger signs associated with moles that may change into melanoma can certainly save a life. You can learn about these warning signs as well as get screened for this potentially significant skin cancer and other non-melanoma skin cancers at this special screening."

Those who have experienced severe sunburn or have a history of sun exposure, those with fair skin who burn easily, and anyone experiencing a recent change in the appearance of a mole should consider being screened for skin cancer.

All participants will receive a complimentary bottle of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30, and those requiring follow-up after screening will be encouraged to contact their personal physicians or they will be referred to a Tulane physician.

To make an appointment for a free skin cancer screening, call the Tulane Call Center at 504-988-5800 or 800-588-5800. Discounted, secured parking is available in the Saratoga Parking Garage, located on the corner of Cleveland and Saratoga streets. The Tulane Cancer Center Comprehensive Clinic is located on the ground floor of this building.

Melanie Cross is a public relations and marketing coordinator for the Tulane Cancer Center.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu