Free Skin Cancer Screenings

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Skin Cancer Foundation kicks off the fifth year of Destination Healthy Skin, its annual mobile education, and screening program, and will be in Glencoe on August 13-14 from 10 AM to 4 PM at Lakefront Park. The program is designed to save lives by educating the public about the importance of skin cancer early detection as well as effective sun protection for skin cancer prevention. Inside the Destination Healthy Skin RV, local volunteer dermatologists provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in private exam rooms. Participants receive information about skin cancer warning signs and proper sun protection as well as product samples courtesy of program sponsors.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and the incidence continues to rise. It's estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. When skin cancers are found and removed early, they are usually curable. The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent in the U.S. That is why The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam, in addition to practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams. And a daily sun protection strategy (seeking shade, covering up with clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and applying sunscreen), can significantly reduce skin cancer risk.

What to Expect During a Skin Cancer Screening: Staff members give each participant a brief form to fill out, show them to one of the RV's private exam rooms and instruct them to change into a gown. The dermatologist comes into the room to examine the participant's skin from head to toe. The physician notes any findings on the form and makes recommendations for the next steps, which may include a formal visit to a dermatologist for a biopsy. To make the most of screening, the Foundation recommends that participants remove nail polish and makeup in advance, let the doctor know if there is a personal or family history of skin cancer, and point out any spots that are new, changing, or unusual.

The exam takes approximately 10 minutes. It's best to arrive early, as screenings are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. At events where screenings aren't available, staff distribute educational materials and product samples.

COVID Precautions: To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, masks are required inside the RV. Participants who do not have a mask will be provided with one. Hand sanitizer is available and social distancing is encouraged. Exam rooms are disinfected between exams, and high-touch surfaces inside the RV are sanitized routinely.