BRADENTON -- Melanoma Monday is next week on May 6 when the American Academy of Dermatology encourages skin-cancer screenings for melanoma, the deadly skin cancer that nearly always can be stopped when caught early.
Unlike for other types of cancer, the signs of skin cancer often are in plain sight but people must know how to recognize them.
"The key with skin cancer is early detection. One person dies of melanoma every hour. That's too many when melanoma can be caught early and totally cured," said dermatologist Jack Jawitz of Bradenton Dermatology and Laser.
Free skin cancer screenings will be offered on Melanoma Monday at Bradenton Dermatology. The screenings will be done in private and anyone concerned about a spot on the skin or who just wants a check-up is welcome, said Jawitz.
A full body exam for signs of skin cancer also can be requested, he said. Melanoma most often occurs in visible moles but also can show up in unexpected places such as the scalp and underneath fingernails.
Jawitz said it's not uncommon for a patient to come in to have a suspicious spot examined and the dermatologist detects other suspicious spots the patient didn't know about.
"We see that a lot and literally save their lives," he said.
In the free screenings at Bradenton Dermatology, doctors also will be looking for other forms of skin cancer, including basil cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Although not as aggressive as melanoma, those forms of skin cancer can become disfiguring and possibly fatal once they spread.
Bradenton Dermatology is at 2919 26th St. W., Bradenton. The free screenings will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are preferred; walk-ins will be offered screenings on a first-come, first-served basis.
To make an appointment or for more information, call 941-755-2255.
Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.