Free skin cancer screenings

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VictoriaF
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Free skin cancer screenings

Post by VictoriaF » Tue May 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Dear all,

I was browsing the web and stumbled on an announcement that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Dermatology is providing free skin cancer screenings.

This site provides locations and dates: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-ca ... -screening .

At the top of the page, there is a link to sign-up for email alerts, in case they offer free screenings before the next year's Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Victoria
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Silk McCue
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Silk McCue » Tue May 15, 2018 4:46 pm

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

rralex1
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by rralex1 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:23 pm

Thank you for bringing awareness to an opportunity, as well as an issue that get's considerably less attention than it should.

Rotarman
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Rotarman » Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm

Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.

Silk McCue
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Silk McCue » Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
Is this the ignorance is bliss approach? So people shouldn’t ask a professional to take a look. People actually die because they put off having an “odd” spot looked at. SMH

Cheers

mouses
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by mouses » Tue May 15, 2018 7:23 pm

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
According to Sloan Kettering, it isn't clear whether routine screenings are helpful. Their website says nothing about them being harmful. I prefer the insurance of an annual screening, especially as both sibs have had skin cancer and I've had precancerous areas.

Something from college economics just surfaced from the depths of my brain. I have lost the context, but it's that optimal behavior for an individual is not necessarily optimal behavior for the group. So, skip a screening, save the health care system some money, too bad if you're one of the people whose skin cancer is found too late.

Rotarman
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Rotarman » Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
Is this the ignorance is bliss approach? So people shouldn’t ask a professional to take a look. People actually die because they put off having an “odd” spot looked at. SMH

Cheers
If your only metric is death then it's probably a net positive. Imagine getting every mole/freckle cut out and biopsied while you wait anxiously 2 weeks to hear if it's cancer. You're certain not to die of melanoma, but then again you had a sub 0.005% or so chance of dying of melanoma to begin with and went through a lot of morbidity. Of course this is reduction to absurdity, but you see how there's a point where screening doesn't make sense.

A concrete example is self breast cancer screens. They're proven not to save lives, but they're very good for giving people anxiety and putting them through painful procedures and radiation exposure.


ALSO: just to be clear, I'm not talking about having a professional look at something suspicious. That is absolutely prudent (and smacks of "medical advice"). This is just about a screening test!
Last edited by Rotarman on Tue May 15, 2018 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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EyeYield
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by EyeYield » Tue May 15, 2018 7:33 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:50 pm
Dear all,

I was browsing the web and stumbled on an announcement that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Dermatology is providing free skin cancer screenings.

This site provides locations and dates: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-ca ... -screening .

At the top of the page, there is a link to sign-up for email alerts, in case they offer free screenings before the next year's Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Victoria
Thanks, this is timely for me. I had planned to call my dermatologist next week - probably still will, but there’s a screening in six weeks a few miles away. Now on my calendar.
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CedarWaxWing
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by CedarWaxWing » Tue May 15, 2018 7:37 pm

A skin cancer screening may be especially pertinent for older folks, people with a family history of skin cancer problems or pre cancers, fair skinned folks who have had serious sunburns over their years, and for people who do not have health insurance who have not been "looked over" for skin cancer.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by CedarWaxWing » Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 pm

People who are at increased risk for skin cancer for whom screening may be most indicated per Sloan Ketting Cancer center:



https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types ... lines-skin

From the US Preventative Services Task Force:

https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskfor ... screening2

GCD
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by GCD » Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 pm

The free screening was useful for me. Saying it saved my life is probably hyperbole, but I did find out I had actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma (and I was only 44). Got both of those taken care of and now have regular check-ups with my dermatologist.

The screening isn't like a mammogram. No technology is involved. It's just a visual skin check by a professional and if they find something suspicious it can be biopsied. I suspect it is the cheapest form of cancer screening in existence.

Ethnically, I happen to be 1/2 Danish and 1/2 German. I was raised in the pre-sunscreen era when boys on one team stripped off their shirts to play shirts vs. skins for every neighborhood game. If you have risk factors you probably should go.

Thanks for posting this Victoria, things like this are always a good reminder for people.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by TimeRunner » Tue May 15, 2018 8:08 pm

I basically grew up at the beach, there almost every weekend and summer day. During and after college I worked for a decade mostly outdoors. I have two dermatologists, one who deals with the cosmetic SK's (seborrheic keratosis) every three months and makes sure that no new skin disorders are serious, and the other who deals with the heavier stuff, so far just a few basel cell carcinomas. If you are fair-skinned and surfed or sailed or were otherwise exposed to direct sunlight, you would be well advised to begin a regular dermo routine as well as use quality sunscreen, wear a hat, cover your skin, and stay out of the sun as you are able to. I enjoyed those younger days, but it's catching up with me now in my early 60's.

Consider a yearly complete body skin check - it might save your skin and/or your life. :idea:

Edit:
"Risk of Getting Melanoma
Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.58% (1 in 172) for Hispanics. The risk for each person can be affected by a number of different factors, which are described in Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer.

The risk of melanoma increases as people age. The average age of people when it is diagnosed is 63. But melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it’s one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women)." Source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma- ... stics.html
Last edited by TimeRunner on Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DanMahowny
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by DanMahowny » Tue May 15, 2018 9:15 pm

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
Great post. I recently read a fantastic book "Over-Diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health"

My takeaways:
1) Free screenings turn healthy people into patients.
2 )if you look hard enough you'll find things that do not need to be found. And force people to deal with "problems" that are best ignored.
Funding secured

carolinaman
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by carolinaman » Wed May 16, 2018 6:57 am

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
I am not sure who those "medical societies" are, but my dermatologists and experts I have read say screening is essential for certain types of people. I have been doing an annual screening for more than 20 years. My doctors have found several atypical moles including one that was severely atypical and on the verge of becoming melanoma. A basal cancer growth was discovered on my face during a screening and subsequently removed. Again, catching it early simplified removal and prevented scarring of my face. I have had several friends die from melanoma. A simple screening would have found this cancer before it was too late.

I am sure there are doctors who are overly aggressive in treating suspicious skin lesions, but this is a small price to pay to save lives. Melanoma deaths are increasing at a fast rate. There are almost 10,000 US melanoma deaths each year. The only reliable way to treat melanoma early is to detect it and remove it before it metastasizes. This can be done by the lay person which is unlikely or the expert, a dermatologist.

JBTX
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by JBTX » Wed May 16, 2018 7:01 am

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
Is this the ignorance is bliss approach? So people shouldn’t ask a professional to take a look. People actually die because they put off having an “odd” spot looked at. SMH

Cheers
If your only metric is death then it's probably a net positive. Imagine getting every mole/freckle cut out and biopsied while you wait anxiously 2 weeks to hear if it's cancer. You're certain not to die of melanoma, but then again you had a sub 0.005% or so chance of dying of melanoma to begin with and went through a lot of morbidity. Of course this is reduction to absurdity, but you see how there's a point where screening doesn't make sense.

A concrete example is self breast cancer screens. They're proven not to save lives, but they're very good for giving people anxiety and putting them through painful procedures and radiation exposure.


ALSO: just to be clear, I'm not talking about having a professional look at something suspicious. That is absolutely prudent (and smacks of "medical advice"). This is just about a screening test!
A screening is simply a professional looking over your body for anything that looks suspicious. If it is a dermatologist it is usually pretty quick because they know what to look for. They aren’t doing biopsies of every mole on your body. I get it done every year or two having grown up in Fl and having skin cancer in the family.

I have a hard time not thinking it is a net benefit, because melanoma has become much more treatable and the earlier you diagnose it the better. It wasn’t that long ago there was a fairly high rate of it spreading and even becoming fatal. Now it is much more treatable.

mouses
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by mouses » Wed May 16, 2018 7:15 am

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm
Imagine getting every mole/freckle cut out and biopsied while you wait anxiously 2 weeks to hear if it's cancer. You're certain not to die of melanoma, but then again you had a sub 0.005% or so chance of dying of melanoma to begin with and went through a lot of morbidity. Of course this is reduction to absurdity, but you see how there's a point where screening doesn't make sense.
It's hard to know where your exaggeration begins. I probably have a hundred or two hundred brown areas on my body and over 70 years of life, maybe three have been biopsied or removed.

Turbo29
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Turbo29 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:18 am

i have had a basal cell cancer removed from my forehead and have actinic keratosis. I visit my dermatologist twice/yr. However, in general, many screenings can cause more harm than good.

http://commonsensemd.blogspot.com/2015/ ... amble.html

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed May 16, 2018 8:12 am

Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm
A concrete example is self breast cancer screens. They're proven not to save lives, [...]
Having known several people who suffered from breast cancer (some of which died from it and, happily, at least some who beat it), I'm compelled to ask if you have a link to substantiate this claim.
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dm200
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by dm200 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:12 am
Rotarman wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm
A concrete example is self breast cancer screens. They're proven not to save lives, [...]
Having known several people who suffered from breast cancer (some of which died from it and, happily, at least some who beat it), I'm compelled to ask if you have a link to substantiate this claim.
I will send a PM

carolinaman
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by carolinaman » Wed May 16, 2018 10:48 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:18 am
i have had a basal cell cancer removed from my forehead and have actinic keratosis. I visit my dermatologist twice/yr. However, in general, many screenings can cause more harm than good.

http://commonsensemd.blogspot.com/2015/ ... amble.html
I agree there are some dermatologists who are overly aggressive in removing suspicious spots. The first dermatologist I went to at the recommendation of my primary was that way. He did find the near melanoma lesion but I was not comfortable with him removing so many spots, so I switched to another dermatologist who was one of the top ranked melanoma specialists in the country. He was very conservative in removing spots as has been the other dermatologists I have used since.

A once a year screening is so simple and will likely result in no need to remove anything. Once melanoma starts to spread, it is pretty much terminal. This is one deadly cancer you can avoid if you monitor your body periodically and have annual screenings. I do not get it. Why would you not do that?

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JPH
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by JPH » Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm

If this is free, then I don't see a downside. I understand that statistically speaking, screenings do not save many lives. They are very beneficial to the dermatologist/pathologist, very bad for the insurance carrier, and pretty neutral for the patient. Yet, I do the annual screening with my dermatologist. I had a skin cancer once, which I discovered on my own, but if I ever develop another cancer, I just want it off for the sake of peace of mind.
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Swimmer
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Swimmer » Wed May 16, 2018 1:29 pm

Having just returned from a skin graft surgery with a plastic surgeon, this thread caught my eye.

He and I discussed how folks think melanoma when they think skin cancer. You see the A, B, C, D thing everywhere these days. Yes, melanoma is the deadliest form as well as the rarest form. It’s also common to see photos of melanomas.

My surgery this morning was for a squamous cell cancer that developed within 4 to 5 weeks on the center of my shin. MOHS surgery 4 weeks ago left a deep dime-sized hole. The initial thinking was that it MIGHT heal without further intervention but that didn’t happen. Hence, the skin graft. The shin is a particularly difficult area since there is very little tissue there to gather and stitch.

I’ve numerous basal cell and 4 squamous—this one the worst because of its location. Squamous cell cancer can metastasize and travel to the lymph nodes. Don’t mess with it. Mine looked like a big pimple with kind of a crusty surface. It didn’t hurt or itch, but sometimes they do. Mine developed quickly but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they look innocent. Other times, hideous. The one constant I know of is that they don’t just go away. I found this one myself despite the fact that I get checked every six months and had just been checked within the past 3 months.

I’m the only one in my family who gets skin cancers. I’m a fair skinned redhead but so are my sibs. I have never been a sun worshiper but did get some childhood sunburns.

I’ll get off my soapbox but I wanted to get the message out that if you have a lesion that doesn’t meet the A, B, C, D criteria, don’t think you’re in the clear, please get it checked anyway.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by BolderBoy » Thu May 17, 2018 10:39 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:50 pm
I was browsing the web and stumbled on an announcement that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Dermatology is providing free skin cancer screenings.
TANSTAAFL!

Ever the cynic I'd view this like the "open house" event put on by realtors: primary goal is to get your name/info for potential as a future client.

#1 question I'd ask with this "free screening" is whether they will do it anonymously - you give no info but they will look you over anyway and still render an opinion. My guess is they'll refuse.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Lynette
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Lynette » Thu May 17, 2018 10:50 am

I had surface level 1 melanoma on my arm about 25 years ago. I had a mole removed and then spent a lot of time in the sun. In my youth no one mentioned one should stay out of the sun or use sunblock. After the procedure, panic broke out by the staff at my dermatologist. I was had lots of moles removed - none malignant. I was supposed to go back every 3 months, then 6 , then... Each time a mole was removed and sent for biopsy.

I'm highly cynical about all of this fuss. I think that the staff is simply covering their tracks or want to make money. Recently I simply told them I did not think insurance covered it .. probably not correct. I likely should go back ... some time ... maybe .. I don't like Medicare.

carolc
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by carolc » Thu May 17, 2018 11:02 am

My father died of melanoma. My siblings and I have had mostly basel cell carcinomas thus far. My first few were found on my legs at about age 50. No big deal as far as removal (though scarring remains). I now have one on the side of my nose and will need plastic surgery following the removal (I will likely need a graft). Not looking forward to it but I have learned that as you get older, you simply have to deal with more and more health issues. And if basel cell carcinomas are the worst cancers I ever have, I can live with that!

carolc

Bungo
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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by Bungo » Thu May 17, 2018 11:32 am

I've had three basal cell carcinomas removed and go in for quarterly screenings, and probably will do so for life. It's cheap peace of mind. Basal cell carcinoma itself is not very threatening, but if you've had skin cancer of any kind, you're at significantly higher risk of melanoma, which is extremely serious and can kill very quickly. Melanoma survivability odds are much higher if you catch it early, but they become pretty bleak if you don't. Skin cancer has the advantage that it's externally visible, so it's one of the easiest kinds to detect early.

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Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 17, 2018 3:26 pm

I removed a few posts which discussed medical advice, including someone who posted a medical study which was challenged by another member. This thread has run its course and is locked (now discussing medical advice). See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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