NEWSBRIEF: Free skin cancer screening on Melanoma Monday, May 6

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 6. To mark the day, Allina Health Clinics at Bandana Square in St. Paul, Bloomington and Maple Grove will offer free skin cancer screenings on Monday, May 6.

Take advantage of a free skin cancer screening. They are available to anyone, but an appointment is required and slots are limited so call 651-241-9776 to reserve a time for the free screening on Monday, May 6 at one of these locations:


-Allina Health Bandana Square Clinic, 2 to 4 p.m.

1021 Bandana Boulevard E., Suite 100, St. Paul


-Allina Health Bloomington Clinic, 9 to 11 a.m.

7920 Old Cedar Ave. S., Bloomington


-Allina Health Maple Grove Clinic, 9 to 11 a.m.

7840 Vinewood Lane N., Maple Grove


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% 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; and

•   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.

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