Griffin Hospital offers free skin cancer screenings

A trip to the beach is an enjoyable way to spend a day. With warm waves lapping at your feet and a good book to enjoy, hours relaxing at the seaside tend to pass by quite quickly. While such days are often comfortable and relaxing, if you aren't careful, you may be putting yourself at risk of sunburn and sun poisoning.

Sunburns are never a good thing, but sun poisoning can be even more severe and the symptoms can become quite serious and uncomfortable.

Griffin Hospital is raising skin cancer awareness and helping protect individuals with free skin cancer screenings at The Center for Cancer Care, 350 Seymour Avenue, Derby, on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.

Appointments are available between 4-7 p.m. and reservations are required by calling 203-732-1260.

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 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer diagnoses each year. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

Risk factors for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers include:

·         Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (sunlight or tanning booths)

·         Pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much or at all, natural red or blond hair)

·         Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium

·         You or other members of your family have had skin cancers

·         Multiple or unusual moles

·         Severe sunburns in the past

Skin cancer can be found and treated early by looking for these symptoms:

·         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 a change in the way a bump or nodule looks

·         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

Some symptoms are not as noticeable, so skin cancer screenings are advised. If you have any of these symptoms, call you doctor immediately or visit to find a local dermatologist.