Skin cancer affects one in five Americans. It’s the most preventable and curable cancer, when caught early. Melanoma Monday, the annual kick-off to Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, is May 1. To mark the day, Allina Health Clinics at Bandana Square (St. Paul), Bloomington and Maple Grove will offer free skin cancer screenings on Monday.
Take advantage of a free walk-in skin cancer screening. They are available to anyone. No appointment is needed at any of the locations during the designated times on Monday, May 1:
Allina Health Bandana Square Clinic
1021 Bandana Blvd E, Suite 100, St. Paul
From 8 a.m. – noon & 2-4 p.m.
Allina Health Bloomington Clinic
7920 Old Cedar Ave S, Bloomington
From 9 – 11 a.m.
Allina Health Maple Grove Clinic
7840 Vinewood Ln N, Maple Grove
From 8-10 a.m.
After the screening, you will receive recommendations for further follow-up and/or biopsy, if needed.
Designated by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) as "National Skin Self-Examination Day," Melanoma Monday is designed to raise awareness about melanoma and encourage Americans to begin a lifelong habit of their own regular skin self-examinations.
"Skin cancer can be prevented and, if detected early, has a 95 percent cure rate. But the key word is early," said dermatologist Elizabeth Farhat, M.D., one of the Allina Health dermatologists who will help conduct the cancer screenings. "Melanoma Monday serves as a way to encourage everyone to practice sun-safe behaviors and conduct regular skin self-examinations. I hope Americans will take advantage of the free screening opportunities that AAD members provide."
Skin self-examinations consist of regularly looking over the entire body, including the back, scalp, soles of feet, between the toes and on the palms of the hands. To do a thorough exam, it's important to use both full-length and hand-held mirrors so you can see the back of your head, your back and buttocks. If there are any changes in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole, the development of a new mole, or any other unusual changes in the skin, you should see your dermatologist immediately.
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk for melanoma. The AAD recommends that everyone follow these sun protection guidelines
- Avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest;
- Seek shade whenever possible;
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and re-apply every two hours
- Wear sun-protective clothing and accessories, such as wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses; an
- Follow the "Shadow Rule" -- if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun's damaging rays are at their strongest and you are likely to sunburn.