Stopping Skin Cancer


Believe it or not, warmer temperatures and sunbathing season will soon be here in Delaware. But before you enjoy the great outdoors, a cancer screening expert says you may also want to think about how overexposure to the sun may put you and your family at risk.

“More people are beginning to understand the health hazards caused by overexposure to the sun. In addition to skin damage, you are increasing the chance of developing even more serious problems such as skin cancer,” said Bayhealth Cancer Screening Nurse Navigator, Paula Hess, MSN, RN, OCN.

To help raise awareness about skin cancer and provide public education, Bayhealth Medical Center will sponsor several free skin cancer screenings in May during National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Local dermatologists will perform complete skin exams, while nurse educators will provide crucial information on how to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. The timing is perfect for those sun worshippers who may not be aware of the danger of excessive sun exposure.

“Ignorance is bliss but only for a short period of time. Being informed is absolutely vital. If you have the knowledge, you will be better able to protect yourself,” said Hess.

Other facts you should know about your skin health:

• Freckles may seem innocent but are actually a sign of damage and should be watched closely for changes. Other warning signs include new moles or changes in size, shape, color or feel of existing moles, a red or darker colored flakey patch, or a sore that does not heal. If you see any of these warnings signs, get them checked.

• Some risk factors are not related to sun exposure. For example, improperly fitted glasses may cause chronic skin irritation that over time could lead to changes that may development into certain types of skin cancer.

• Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit 12 times the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. Tanning bed use is a confirmed risk factor for the most deadly type of skin cancer.

Bayhealth Medical Center will provide free skin cancer screenings on the upcoming dates:

• Monday, May 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Bayhealth Cancer Center, 21 West Clarke Avenue, Milford.

• Friday, May 13, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at 737 South Queen Street, Suite 1, Dover.

Pre-registration is required. Please call (302) 744-6752.