May 12, 2009 - By Margarita Gallardo
Melanoma is the rarest and deadliest form of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 62,000 new melanomas were diagnosed in the United States during 2008. The Department of Dermatology will offer its annual free skin cancer screening from 9 a.m. to noon on May 16 at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City.
Physicians from the medical school and Stanford Hospital & Clinics will join community dermatologists to check for unusual moles or irregular blemishes that could signify the onset of melanoma or the more common types of skin cancer, including both basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinoma. High-risk individuals or those without regular dermatologic care are encouraged to attend. Individuals at a higher risk of developing melanoma are those who have fair skin and a history of excessive sun exposure, have many moles and/or have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with melanoma.
Susan Swetter, MD, associate professor of dermatology and director of the Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic at the Stanford Cancer Center, recently spoke about the importance of getting screened during a podcast of the '1:2:1' program, produced by the medical school's Office of Communication & Public Affairs. 'If we can't change tanning or sunburn behaviors, at least we hope to promote skin self-examinations and getting people into the doctor early because that can be the difference between life and death for melanoma,' said Swetter.
Stanford's dermatologists were early adopters of innovative treatments for skin cancers, and have made early detection and prevention methods an important part of their care protocol. Swetter and Hayes Gladstone, MD, professor and director of dermatologic surgery at Stanford, will also give a free lecture on skin cancer, skin protection and skin rejuvenation at 6:30 p.m. May 13 at the Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez St., on campus.
The May 16 screening is open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis, with the doors opening at 8:30 a.m., and the last appointment scheduled at 11:30 a.m. It will be on the 4th floor of pavilion B at the outpatient center at 450 Broadway St., in Redwood City. For more information, call 725-8400.
To subscribe to '1:2:1,' a series of conversations about health-care policy and biomedical research, visit Stanford on iTunes U at http://itunes.stanford.edu and go to the 'Health and Medicine' category.
About Stanford Medicine
Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.