Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Sparrow Hospital is teaming up with the American Cancer Society today to offer free cancer screenings.
As the weather starts to get warmer, and people begin to spend more time outdoors, now is the time to really think about skin protection.
More than three million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone.
This is "Skin Cancer Awareness" Month, and malignant melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It is deadly, claiming a life every hour.
Health experts say UV radiation from sunlight or tanning beds is the biggest cause of skin cancer. They say radiation exposure from tanning is completely avoidable.
The American Academy of Dermatology also warns that men over age fifty are at high risk of developing melanoma. Men often get cancers on their backs, an area they cannot see.
"We also very commonly see melanomas on the ear, on the left arm, on the scalp and on the left side of the face because of the car and because men lose the hair on top of their heads and they don't think about protecting that from the sun," says dermatologist Dr. Rutledge Forney.
Doctors say patients need to diligently use a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply it often when outdoors.
Medical experts also advise people to use big hats to protect your skin from the sun and try to stay in the shade.
Plus, if you notice something suspicious, get it checked out immediately. If it is melanoma, early detection and treatment can save lives.
Free cancer screenings will be held at the Sparrow Cancer Center tonight. The time to go is between 5 and 7 p.m.
The Sparrow Cancer Center is located at 1215 East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.
Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-Sparrow.
For more information about skin cancer, click here.