MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Cancer Institute’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center will offer free skin cancer screenings from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, at the Cancer Center. Advance registration is required by May 15. Call 304-598-4500 to make an appointment.
Participants will be asked to complete a form describing their medical and sun exposure history and will be examined by a physician. If anything suspicious is found during the five-minute exam, the patient will be referred for a dermatology appointment.
“Unlike some cancers, skin cancer can be detected at an early stage when it is curable,” Michael Kolodney, M.D., Ph.D., chief of WVU Medicine Dermatology, said. “Even melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, has a high cure rate if detected early. That is why it is so important to schedule an annual skin cancer screening by a physician.”
In addition to seeing a physician annually, Dr. Kolodney recommends a monthly skin self-exam. “You should check for things like changes in moles, dry and scaly rough patches, and slowly growing bumps,” he said. “Get to know your skin and what is and isn’t normal.”
He added that two of the most important pieces of advice he can offer to prevent skin cancer is to avoid spending a lot of time in the sun and avoid tanning beds and sun lamps because both natural and manmade U.V. exposure are the primary causes of all skin cancers.
He recommends avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Other recommendations include applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 daily; wearing sunglasses that block most harmful rays; wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a hat with a wide brim when you are outside.
The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, and one person dies from melanoma every hour.
“Our annual skin cancer screening is an opportunity to continue raising awareness about skin cancer and to remind and encourage people to follow advice on how to protect their skin,” Kolodney said.
Many thanks to the WVU women’s soccer team and their fans who came out to watch the Mountaineers beat Oklahoma 5-1 during the “pink” game at Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown on October 8. The game was an opportunity for both the team and fans to join the WVU Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine to raise breast cancer awareness and support the fight against breast cancer. Cancer Institute Director Rich Goldberg, representatives of the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center and the Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Program (Bonnie’s Bus), and assistant women’s soccer coach Marisa Kanela were called to the field for halftime recognition and an announcement that the Mountaineers raised nearly $9,000 for the Cancer Institute’s Betty Puskar Breast Care Center during the team’s annual spring fundraiser. Additionally, Mountaineer fans donated more than $1,300 in exchange for official pink Mountaineer T-shirts. Their donations will support the Breast Cancer Program Enhancement Fund at the Cancer Institute.
Linda Vona-Davis, Ph.D., director of the Biomedical Master of Science in Health Sciences Program at West Virginia University, was surprised and delighted to see 65 of her colleagues at her recent presentation. Before the standing-room-only crowd, she discussed her latest research into how adipose-derived stem cells, which originate in fat, influence the activity of breast cancer cells.