As part of a campaign to encourage early detection and prevention of skin cancer, St. Charles Cancer Center, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Central Oregon Dermatology and Deschutes Dermatology Center are offering education and free screenings Saturday, May 5, from 9am-noon.
More than 3 million skin cancers including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed annually in the United States. Contributing factors can include elevation, abundant sunshine, outdoor recreation and tanning. But while skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, it’s also the most preventable.
Everyone should follow sun safe practices, which includes wearing clothing that protects your skin from the sun, avoiding the sun from 10am – 2pm when the sun is strongest, using at least SFP 15 sunscreen and applying it every two hours.
Some people are at higher risk for skin cancer. They are those with light hair, skin and eye color, a history of severe sunburns, 50+ moles or a history of skin cancer. Others may have genetic factors that increase risk. These individuals should get total body skin exams at least annually and possibly more frequently.
“Our ‘War on Melanoma™’ event is focused on helping individuals understand whether they have risk factors for melanoma and if that might necessitate earlier and more frequent screening,” said Dr. Linyee Chang, a radiation oncologist and medical director of St. Charles Cancer Center. “Through our partnership with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Central Oregonians will also have the opportunity to register for the Melanoma Community Registry, a research project where those enrolled can join studies, hear about educational events and other community activities. The overall goal is to reduce mortality in the state by 50 percent.”
Local health care providers will also have an opportunity to learn how to use MoleMapper, a free cellphone app available that allows users to photograph and map moles to zones on the body and monitor changes over time. Users can also share their de-identified data with researchers to better understand the development and identification of melanoma.
“We are thrilled to have our partners in Bend joining the War on Melanoma™,” said Dr. Sancy Leachman, director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Research Program and chair of the Department of Dermatology in the OHSU School of Medicine. “In order to make an impact on skin cancer rates in Oregon, we need people across the state to join us in our education and prevention efforts.”
The War on Melanoma™, including the free skin cancer screenings, will be held at the St. Charles Cancer Center at 2500 NE Neff Road in Bend. Appointments can be made at http://bit.ly/StCharlesCancerScreeningTix. The event is free and open to both insured and uninsured residents of Central Oregon.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the leadership and collaboration of not only OHSU, but also our local dermatology providers,” Chang said. “Drs. Leslie Carter and Mark Hall have been instrumental in this effort and we thank them for giving their time to provide skin cancer screenings to our community.”
About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Oregon, owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond, and owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,800 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.