Free Skin Cancer Screening

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Statistics say that one in five Americans will be affected by skin cancer at some point in their lives.

But one local dermatology practice is hosting free skin cancer screenings to get the knowledge out there about protecting your skin.

"Doing skin cancer screenings where we can do them for free for people who might not have the opportunity or the ability to get them is really important because skin cancer is something that is very easily detected by someone who's trained and it can be life saving," says Dr. Dawn Sammons from Oakview Dermatology in Athens.

The free screenings brought many people out to Porterfield Baptist Church in Little Hocking.

Church member, Julie Eaton says, "thought it wouldn't hurt to have them look over and check just to make sure everything was okay."

Education is extremely important to Dr. Sammons to ensure that the patients of Oakview Dermatology are focusing on their skin care at early ages.

Dr. Sammons says, "a lot of ultraviolet radiation penetrates glass and we are learning more and more about how that type of ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin cancer so sunscreen is going to be our best defense. That, and of course not purposely laying out and baking in the sun."

Your local pharmacy has tons of different brands of skin care products, but dermatologists say it doesn't matter the specific brand that you use, just that you are using skin care protection."

"We just really recommend that people start with an SPF sunscreen of at least a 30. And when patients ask me about which brand, the reality is, everyone's gonna like something different. I think you have to find what works best for you and for your family," explains Dr. Sammons.

With the high temperatures we've had in the Mid-Ohio Valley, many people are taking the advice of their doctors.

"When it's 90 some degrees like it's been this week just staying out of the sun is the easiest way, staying in the shade, staying indoors."

But some may not realize that it's not just hot temperatures that we need to worry about when taking care of our skin.

Dr. Sammons explains, "when it's cooler, when it's 70 degrees and a beautiful June or July day and people are outside and they're not hot, people don't think about wearing sunscreen. But the truth is you really need sunscreen 365 days a year if you're going to be outside in the sun."

Dr. Sammons recommends to get skin cancer screenings immediately even when there are only small signs of discomfort on your skin.

"When we diagnose the melanoma, which of course is the most life threatening of all skin cancers, often times patients came in because they had an irritated lesion that turned out to be perfectly benin and nothing that could hurt them and so that's why skin cancer screenings are so important because so often you wouldn't even think that that lesion could cause you harm because it wasn't bothering you."

Statistics say that every hour one person in America dies of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

For more information click on the Hot Button for a link to Oakview Dermatology's "Patient Education Library."

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