Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with one in five Americans developing it over the course of their lives. It's also one of the most preventable types of cancers. In recognition of May's Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Melanoma Monday on May 5th, Mount Sinai Health System experts are arming the public with vital tips on prevention and offering FREE skin cancer screenings.
Free Skin Cancer Screenings:
Mount Sinai Hospital, Faculty Practice Associates, Thursday, May 8, 3-6 p.m. at 5 E. 98th Street, 5th Floor
Mount Sinai Roosevelt, Wednesday, May 7, 3:30-7:30 p.m. at 425 W. 59th street, 5th floor
Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 10 Union Square East, 3rd floor
Experts Available for Interview
•Dr. Mark Lebwohl, Sol and Clara Kest Professor of Dermatology
and Chair of the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology
at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology.
•Dr. Hooman Khorasani, Chief of Division of Mohs, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic Surgery and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine
•Dr. Desiree Ratner, Director, Comprehensive Skin Cancer Program, Mount Sinai Beth Israel
"Fortunately, most skin cancers, even melanoma, can be cured and treated when detected early," says Dr. Lebwohl. "Knowing your own skin is the key to discovering skin cancer early on. See a dermatologist for a skin check if you notice a spot, mole or lump on your body that is changing, growing or bleeding."
New Advancements in Skin Cancer Treatment
The Mount Sinai Hospital is the only academic institution to offer skin cancer patients a clinical trial using ZipLine Surgical Skin Closure device—a cost-effective, noninvasive surgical skin closure device for suture-like outcomes at the speed of staples, with a reduced risk of surgical site infection. According to Dr. Khorasani, principal investigator, the Zipline device offers a 57 percent reduction in wound closure procedure time instead of using sutures.
•It attaches to the skin around a wound using pressure-sensitive adhesive, and does not pierce the skin like sutures and staples.
•It eliminates the pathways through the skin that can cause surgical site infections. After adequate healing, the ZipLine device is gently peeled from the skin as with tape.
Patients are available to discuss their experience with melanoma, other skin cancers and the Zipline Surgical Skin Closure.
● Melanoma is the number one fastest growing cancer in men and number two in women.
●Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer and if caught early it has a cure rate of 95-99 percent.
●Exposure to tanning beds can increase the risk of melanoma, especially in women under the age of 45.
According to Dr. Ratner, one of the most preventable risk factors for all skin cancers is exposure
to ultraviolet light. Patients should protect their skin by applying sunscreen, seeking shade
and wearing protective clothing.
Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention
●Get an annual checkup: Annual dermatology visits to monitor changes in your skin and your child's are just as important as annual physicals and regular trips to the dentist. Nearly 50 percent of UV exposure occurs between the ages of 19 - 40.
●Wear sunblock every day: Sunblock is not just for the summer. You should apply an SPF of 30 or more to all exposed skin thoroughly - your body, eyes, lips, ears and feet - every day, year-round. Re-apply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days.
●Never plan to sunbathe: You might not immediately realize the damage you're doing by intentionally soaking up the sun , because it takes 10-20 years for skin damage to catch up with you, but sun dissolves the collagen and elastin in your skin which keeps it healthy.
●Avoid tanning beds:Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling.
●Wear protective clothing: Long-sleeved shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
●Watch your brown spots and freckles: Do self-skin checks every month. If you have a lot of brown spots, talk to your dermatologist about total body photography so your doctor can keep a photographic record of your moles and watch closely for any change.
●Follow the ABCDEs: Tell your dermatologist if your moles have:
•Asymmetry, where one half of the mole is different from the other half;
•Borders that are irregular, scalloped or poorly defined;
•Color that varies from one area to another, with shades of tan and brown, black, sometimes white, red or blue;
•Diameters that are the size of a pencil eraser (6mm) or larger; however some melanomas can be smaller
•Evolving, when a mole or skin lesion looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape and color