As Americans head to backyard barbecues, baseball games and other fun in the sun this summer, it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
“Skin cancer is still one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States,” said Dr. Lorie Gottwald, chief of dermatology at The University of Toledo Medical Center. “We need to stress protection all year long, but summer is usually the time we are out and about, and ambient sunlight is indeed a risk factor for skin cancer.”
One in five Americans will develop a form of skin cancer in his or her lifetime, according to the American Dermatological Association, making it the most common form of cancer in the country.
While some types of skin cancer are highly curable, it can be deadly. Melanoma — the most dangerous kind — will lead to an estimated 7,230 deaths in 2019.
On Monday, June 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. the Dermatology Department at UTMC will host a free skin cancer screening event for UToledo employees and all military veterans.
While there is no cost, registration is required by calling 419.383.6315. The screenings will take place at the UTMC Dermatology Clinic in Suite F at the Ruppert Health Center.
“We want to continue to fight the war against skin cancer and also recognize the contributions of our vets,” Gottwald said.
Each screening will take approximately 15 minutes. Participants will receive a sunscreen sample and information on skin cancer awareness.
If UTMC clinicians notice something that may need intervention, they will provide a screening sheet that patients can take to a dermatologist of their choice. No biopsies will be taken during the screening event.
If you are going to be spending time in the sun — even just going for a walk at lunchtime — Gottwald said you should be wearing an approved sunscreen.
“The standard recommendation is SPF 30 or higher, and higher numbers do offer more protection,” she said. “Also, remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re sweating.”
Employees can stop at the Dermatology Clinic during regular hours for free sunscreen samples.