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May is Melanoma Awareness Month

By Staff | Apr 28, 2017

One in five Americans will reportedly be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It most often develops on areas exposed to the sun’s rays and affects people of all colors and races.

May marks Melanoma Awareness Month, and Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery is offering free skin cancer screenings from May 2-31 at several of its offices, including in Cape Coral.

“Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer,” spokeswoman Amanda Clemente said. “But, melanoma is a highly treatable and highly curable form of skin cancer if it is caught early.”

For 17 years, Riverchase has been offering the free screenings to the public. In 2016, it was named the Top Practice by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for conducting the highest number.

“We performed 877 free cancer screenings in Florida,” she said.

Those interested in taking advantage of the screenings only need to make an appointment.

“It is completely complimentary,” Clemente said. “It is completely free.”

“They do not need to provide any proof of insurance,” she added.

To schedule an appointment, call 800-591-3376 or visit online to fill out a form at: www.riverchasedermatology.com/upcoming-events-and-promos.

Clemente encouraged those interested to set their appointment as soon as possible.

“Schedules are filling up quickly,” she said.

Clemente reiterated that melanoma is highly curable if caught early.

“We’re really trying to get that message out there,” she said. “We have a large senior population, we have a lot of sun exposure, and sometimes this is something that is overlooked.”

Participants will be asked to fill out a short form detailing their sun exposure habits and family history. They will then meet with a board certified dermatologist, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

“It’s a spot check,” Clemente said. “It does not take the place of a full body exam.”

While participants keep their clothes, the provider will check the exposed skin.

“If they have an area of concern, they can bring that forward,” she said.

Participants can learn what to look for and how to conduct their own routine exams.

“It’s an opportunity for them to ask the provider, ‘What should I be looking for?'” Clemente said.

Participants will receive a copy of their paperwork. If a follow-up exam or biopsy is suggested, they can schedule another appointment with Riverchase or take their records to another dermatologist.

They will also receive a goodie bag with informational materials and some free samples.

The Cape office is at 413 Del Prado Blvd. S., Suite 101.