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Free Skin Cancer Screening Clinic
Start Date

Mercy Cancer Center & Mercy Dermatology Center Increase Awareness Of Most Common Cancer In United States

More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, making it the most common cancer in the United States. Beating skin cancer begins with a visual exam of your skin. This is why more than 1,000 dermatologists volunteer their time each year to conduct free skin cancer screenings. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, the cure rate for skin cancer averages 95 percent. Even melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has a 95 percent cure rate with early detection and treatment.

Mercy Cancer Center and Mercy Dermatology Center are teaming up to sponsor a Free Skin Cancer Screening Clinic on Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Mercy Dermatology Center, 1421 4th Street S.W., Mason City. A limited number of appointments will be available and must be made by Friday, November 5, 2010. To reserve an appointment time, please call Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa at 641-422-5546 or 1-800-433-3883, ext. 5546, between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., on Monday, October 25; Wednesday, October 27; Friday, October 29; Monday, November 1; Wednesday, November 3; or Friday, November 5.

  • Anyone interested in making an appointment must meet the following criteria:
  • Have not seen a dermatologist in the past year
  • Not currently under treatment for a skin disorder
  • Screening is not for your annual check-up.

 "If you have a suspicious lesion on your skin, make an appointment immediately to see a dermatologist; waiting until your next physical or a more convenient time gives the cancer time to grow," said C. Joseph Plank, M.D., Mercy Dermatology Center. According to Dr. Plank, a good guideline to follow is See spot. See spot change. See your dermatologist. "If melanoma is allowed to progress, it can rapidly spread to the lymph system and internal organs." In the United States alone, one person dies from melanoma almost every hour. While other types of skin cancer are not as likely to spread, a growing tumor can invade surrounding tissue. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent extensive damage to the surrounding tissue.

"Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, and everyone needs to protect themselves from the sun," said James Karkos, M.D., Mercy Dermatology Center. "Some easy actions to take for protection include wearing pants and shirts that cover as much skin as possible; choose a sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher; wear a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears; and stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are the strongest." Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

Mercy Dermatology Center staff--James Karkos, M.D., C. Joseph Plank, M.D., Richard Steinberg, M.D., Lisa Hedrick, P.A.-c and Kim Larson, A.R.N.P, along with Mercy Cancer staff, will be volunteering their time at the Free Skin Cancer Screening Clinic.

For more information on this free screening, please call Mercy Cancer Center at 641-422-6367 or 1-800-433-3883, ext. 6367.

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 Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa | 1000 4th Street SW Mason City, IA 50401 | 641-428-7000

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