SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Dec. 16, 2009) —
One person dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, almost every hour. Yet melanoma is often successfully treated, if caught early. That’s why thousands of dermatologists across the country offer free skin cancer screenings in their communities through the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program. The program recently reached a milestone – two million screenings have been conducted since the program’s inception in 1985. As of December 31, 2008, more than 188,000 suspicious lesions have been detected, including more than 21,500 suspected melanomas, through the program.
“The goal of the AAD National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program is to save lives. We’re certain that there are people who are alive today because they received a skin cancer screening,” said David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, president, American Academy of Dermatology. “Dermatologists have volunteered countless hours to conduct screenings in locations such as sports stadiums, state and county fairs, and hospitals. The AAD National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program is a key opportunity for dermatologists to educate the public about early detection and prevention of skin cancer while saving lives by finding skin cancers in their earliest, most treatable stages.” While screenings happen all year long, many skin cancer screenings are conducted in May. (Find a free skin cancer screening in your area.) The Web page also includes a video of what to expect at a screening, an eCard to tell others about free screenings and an eAlert to receive notifications of screenings in your area.
“A skin cancer screening is a non-invasive exam that only takes a few minutes, yet it could save a person’s life,” said Dr. Pariser.
Significantly more than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. One American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes). More than 11,000 Americans die each year from skin cancer, but when detected early, skin cancer has a cure rate of 99 percent.
For more information about skin cancer, please visit the SkinCancerNet section of www.SkinCarePhysicians.com, a Web site developed by dermatologists that provides patients with up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.