Learn more about skin cancer Wednesday
Meeting tonightThe Summit Cancer Support Group is opening their June meeting – 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Community and Senior Center in Frisco – to the general public, to help provide skin cancer information to county residents. Dr. Jean Urquhart will be speaking about skin cancer in general, some early signs, types of cancer and ways to protect against exposure.The Summit Cancer Support Group is a women’s cancer support group which meets the last Wednesday of each month. Various topics are discussed to help women cancer patients and survivors live with cancer. Also, the group opens meetings at least once a year to help in various cancer education. For more information on the group, please contact Joan Davids at (970) 513-9898.FRISCO – The combination of high numbers of sunny days, an active population and altitude-intensified ultraviolet radiation puts Summit County residents at an increased risk for the most common type of cancer – skin cancer.So, tonight the Summit Cancer Support Group is opening their June meeting to the public to learn about risk factors, protection and detection.”This is a concern especially in Colorado because we have a population that likes to spend time outdoors and there are three cancers related to sun exposure,” said Dr. Jean Urquhart, dermatologist and dermatopathologist, who will be speaking at the meeting and will soon be joining Vail Dermatology. Types of skin cancer include basal cell and squamous cell, which are the most common and less dangerous. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands and arms, according to the National Cancer Institute. Melanoma is another type. It is less common, more deadly and shows up more frequently in Colorado than many other states. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the state’s incidence of melanoma is nearly 30 percent higher than U.S. rates and it is continuing to rise.Part of that could be attributed to the fact that ultraviolet radiation from the sun is between 36 and 50 percent higher in Summit County than at sea level, according to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Some additional risk factors include having had blistering sunburns in the past, working outdoors or working indoors all week and then spending the weekend in the sun, personal and family history, a weakened immune system, medications and fair skin. Also, statistics show 1-in-57 men will develop melanoma compared to 1-in-81 women, the Cancer Care Alliance said.The guidelines for protection are basically sun avoidance and staying away from tanning beds which offer exposure to UV light, protective clothing and sunscreen, Urquhart said. Her advice for those who are active outside is to wear at least SPF 30 and to reapply every hour. Also, ingredients to look for include zinc oxide, avobenzone and titanium dioxide.And since early detection can make a tremendous difference, people should check their skin regularly. If they have any lesions that bleed spontaneously, anything on the skin that doesn’t heal or any spots/ moles that stand out and look different, they should get checked out, Urquhart said.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at email@example.com.
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