Every year, the first Monday in May has been dubbed “Melanoma Monday” by dermatologists across the country to encourage people to have their skin screened for skin cancer.
At High Valley Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery they’re providing free cancer screenings.
Approximately one person in the United States dies from melanoma skin cancer every hour.
It’s the leading cause of cancer in young adults ages 25 to 29 and second leading in ages 15 to 29.
“Well, skin cancer, particularly melanoma, it can be life-threatening, and the reason we’re trying to make a big push with this melanoma Monday thing, the dermatology world is trying to tell people, teach people rather, that melanoma can be a killer” said Dermatologist Lindsay Sewell.
Locally, this cancer has had some serious effects. From 2001 to 2005 Idaho ranked 7th
highest in the U.S. for death rate from melanoma.
We don’t maybe have an exact answer for that but what makes the most sense is we do have a lot of farmers, we have a lot of light colored skin, and we have a lot of people who like to spend time outdoors, and we do have some cities that are at decent elevations, Idaho Falls is at 4,500 ft. the closer you get to the atmosphere, the thinner the atmosphere gets” continued Sewell.
The skin cancer is very deadly when neglected but can often be treated successfully if caught early.
Doctors say skin is one of the easiest organs to screen for cancer.
“The best thing is shade, that’s better than sunscreen. If you can keep in the shade and out of the sun during, particularly during the most penetrating hours of the day, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., then you’ll do better, but if you need to be outside or you want to be outside and enjoy the fun things we have here in Idaho, then you need to protect yourself” said Sewell.
High Valley Dermatology says if you haven’t had the chance to get your free cancer screening you can call in and set up an appointment.
Their phone number is 522-SKIN.