Skin Cancer Screenings and Prevention

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Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - The statistics say that one in five people will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime, an alarming statistic. Dr. Cathy Parish of the Cheyenne Skin Clinic says that while skin cancer is serious, it's very treatable and the biggest thing you can do is take measures to prevent the start of skin cancer.

"...there's lots of things you can do that are all very simple, just takes a little preplanning. So, you want to wear a hat, you want to wear nice, big sunglasses, you want to wear some protective clothing, you want to try not to be out in the...from...10 to 2 when the sun is at its highest. You want to wear sunscreen, try and pick a high SPF of 50 plus, especially if you're very fair."

A big part of prevention is sunscreen. While most people may just buy one bottle for the summer, when you apply sunscreen you need to use at least 2 oz. every two hours. You also need to reapply sunscreen if you go swimming, as there are no water-proof sunscreens. Again, the stats tell us that if you get 5 or more sunburns, you've doubled your chances of developing a melanoma. Furthermore, if you get one blistering sunburn, that alone doubles the chances.

The goal of the free skin cancer screenings at the clinic is twofold. Firstly for Cheyenne residents to come and just get checked like I did today, but secondly is to teach people what to look out for so that they can give themselves skin cancer screenings. You want to be on the look out for the ABCDE's of melanoma. A is asymmetrical, is one half of the mole or spot unlike the other. B stands for border, a melanoma will have a irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border. C stands for color, melanomas will vary from one area to another. D stands for diameter, melanomas are generally larger than 6 mm, or the size of a pencil eraser. Lastly, E stands for evolving, is the mole or skin lesion different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

Dr. Parish says that they've had a great turnout for the free screenings, but the offer still goes until Friday, May 9th. So there is still time to come out and get checked. You'll need to make an appointment first by calling the clinic. You can reach them at (307) 635-0226 and they are open Mondays - Thursdays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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