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Skin Cancer Screenings More Important Than Ever

Posted: May 26, 2010

Spa professionals need to make sure to point out any concerning moles or lesions to clients and work with them to ensure that they see a dermatologist as soon as possible when a spot is found. You could be saving the life of a client.

Now there are twice as many reasons people should visit a dermatologist for yearly skin cancer exams. According to a recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, people with a history of nonmelanoma lesions face twice the risk of developing other cancers.

Those systemic malignancies include melanoma, lung, colon and breast cancers. Patients who develop skin cancers may have inherited a family tendency for other types because of an inadequate ability to repair DNA. In addition, the younger a person gets a nonmelanoma skin cancer, the higher her risk of developing other cancers.

More than one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, outnumbering all other cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop the disease at some point, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

According to dermatopathologist George Hollenberg, MD, medical director of Acupath Laboratories in Long Island, New York, "There is no reason to delay a clinical exam for skin cancer. The risk is just too big."