May events to focus on fighting skin cancer

In spite of a recent Mayo Clinic study showing that women under 40, especially, are being hit hardest by the growing incidence of skin cancer, many women — and men — continue to head for the beach without sunscreen.

“We need to get away from the idea that skin cancer is an older person’s disease,” Jerry Brewer, co-author of the study and a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told The USA Today last month.

A major government study published in April also reported that while the incidence of many of the most common types of cancer is declining, the number of melanoma cases is on the rise for men and women.

Current estimates predict skin cancer will affect one in five Americans in their lifetimes. Yet, the cure rate for melanoma can be as high as 98%, if it is detected early, medical research has shown.

That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology has recognized May as Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The organization is trying to raise awareness of skin cancer and the simple steps people may take to prevent and detect it.

During May, Dermatology & Oculoplastic Consultants, located at 5880 Rand Blvd., Unit 201, will be offering free skin cancer screenings to the uninsured or under-insured on Melanoma Mondays — May 7, 14 and 21. To schedule an appointment, call 925-3627.

DOCs also will be educating the public about melanoma through a presentation, “Skin Cancer: Prevention and Treatment,” at HealthSquare, May 10 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at its location inside Westfield Sarasota Square Mall.

Additionally, The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, as Don’t Fry Day. The council’s goal is to encourage sun safety awareness by reminding everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors, not just on Don’t Fry Day, but every day.

For more information about Melanoma Mondays or Don’t Fry Day, call 925-3627; email; or visit