ALTON – Area residents can take advantage of free skin cancer screenings performed by local Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Noor Ahmed, M.D., on Wednesday, December 16, in the Cancer Center of Excellence/Radiation Oncology at OSF Saint Clare’s Hospital.

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Free sunscreen will be distributed to participants at the screening. Appointments are available between 4:15 and 5:30 p.m., by calling 618-465-2264.

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Signs and symptoms of skin cancer include:

  • Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color).
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule.
  • The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark.
  • A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness or pain.

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, with more than two million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are found in United States each year.

For basal cell or squamous cell cancers, a cure is highly likely if detected and treated early. Melanoma, even though it can spread to other body parts quickly, is also highly curable if detected early and treated properly.

People who have had any type of skin cancer should take special care to check for new skin cancers, but screening recommendations for other types of cancer are the same as those for the general population.

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