April 8, 2008

CONTACT: Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653
olivia.fermano@uphs.upenn.edu


Penn Skin Cancer Specialists Provide FREE Screenings

PHILADELPHIA - The Department of Dermatology and Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania will conduct free screenings where a Penn dermatology specialist will check people’s skin to determine their risk of developing cancer.

Did you know that…

  • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the United States?
  • Although exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays is said to be the most important factor in the cause of skin cancers, about 70 percent of American adults do NOT use sun-protection?
  • More than one million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the US each year?
  • Melanoma represents only four percent of all skin cancers in the US, but accounts for more than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths?
  • Melanoma incidence rates are 20 times higher for Caucasians than for African-Americans. However, people with dark-pigmented skin can also develop melanoma, particularly on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet, under the nails, and inside the mouth?
  • Melanoma is more common than any non-skin cancer among women between the ages of 25 and 29?

While these statistics can seem scary, there is hope: both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas have a 95 percent cure rate when detected and treated early. “Prevention and early detection are the keys to protecting yourself from skin cancer,” said Christopher Miller, MD, assistant professor of Dermatology and director of Dermatologic Surgery at Penn. “While most skin cancers appear after age 50, skin damage from the sun begins at a much earlier age. This is why it’s so vital that protection from the sun start in early childhood to prevent skin cancer later in life.”

WHEN: Saturday, May 31, 2008
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE:

Department of Dermatology
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania [Campus Map]
Rhoads Pavilion, Second Floor [Hospital Floor Plan Map]
3400 Spruce Street      
Philadelphia, PA  19104

Appointments are necessary. Please call 215.662.2737 to make your reservation.

Statistics sources: The National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Societ5y and the American Academy of Dermatology.

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The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania is a national leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The pre-eminent position of the Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute for 30 years, one of 39 such Centers in the United States. The ACC is dedicated to innovative and compassionate cancer care. The clinical program, comprised of a dedicated staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists and patient support specialists, currently sees over 50,000 outpatient visits, 3400 inpatient admissions, and provides over 25,000 chemotherapy treatments, and more than 65,000 radiation treatments annually. Not only is the ACC dedicated to providing state-of-the-art cancer care, the latest forms of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are available to our patients through clinical themes that developed in the relentless pursuit to eliminate the pain and suffering from cancer. In addition, the ACC is home to the 300 research scientists who work relentlessly to determine the pathogenesis of cancer. Together, the faculty is committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer

PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine. The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multi-specialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2008/05/skin-cancer-screenings.html