During the annual event, 143 people were screened free by dermatologists from Sanford Dermatology, Avera Dermatology and Dakota Dermatology, according to Bill Ladwig, senior vice president of professional services for Lewis Drug.
Of those screened, dermatologists found one case of melanoma, Ladwig said, and “numerous” cases of basal and squamous cell cancers. While basal and squamous cells need further treatment, both are usually not as serious as melanoma — which is potentially life threatening. However, melanoma, like all other skin cancers, is highly treatable and curable when detected early, according to Ladwig, which underscores the importance of screening.
“Your skin has to last you a lifetime,” Ladwig said. “Our purpose with hosting this event is to raise awareness about getting screened and protecting your skin.”
Lewis began holding the annual screenings nearly 15 years ago, Ladwig said, when dermatologists in the community were looking for a space to hold free skin cancer screenings. “It’s just a fantastic idea,” Ladwig said of the event. “It’s often hard to get access to dermatologists, and we’re fortunate to have these dermatologists who are willing to offer these screenings to the community.”
One of five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer, which further illustrates the importance of taking preventive measures such as a wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, especially, Ladwig added, as we age. “Some of those things we did in our youth catch up with us as we get older,” he said.
Melanoma Monday at Lewis Drugs coincides with May’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month and The American Academy of Dermatology’s 2017 SPOT Skin Cancer campaign — “Check Your Partner. Check Yourself” — which encourages women to check both their partners and themselves for signs of skin cancer.
Research has shown that women are nine times more likely than men to notice melanoma on others, which means women could help save their partners’ lives by spotting skin cancer.