HCN News & Notes

CDH Slates Free Skin Cancer Screening Clinic

NORTHAMPTON — In recognition of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, local dermatologist Richard Wyatt and physician’s assistant Mike Brown will provide skin assessments and prevention education at Cooley Dickinson’s free skin cancer screening clinic on May 8, from 5:30–7:30 pm at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
The event is free but registration is required; space is limited. The screening location will be provided at registration. For more information and to register, call (888) 554-4234. Those who are uninsured or underinsured are encouraged to attend this free screening.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), incidence of skin cancer grew significantly in white men and women between 2003 and 2012, the latest years for which data are available. Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America, with the greatest exposure occurring between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Teens and young adults are at particular risk as they exhibit the lowest rates of preventative behaviors.
Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly, but fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented. Common risk factors include unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; fair complexion; family history; occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium; multiple or atypical moles or severe sunburns as a child.
The free screening is a cooperative effort between the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Amherst’s Pioneer Valley Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a national organization promoting leadership in dermatology and excellence in patient care through education, research and advocacy.