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May 17, 2014

Archbold plans skin, head, neck cancer screenings

THOMASVILLE — According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, In fact, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is the cause of 75 percent  of all skin cancer deaths nationwide. Most recent data suggests the rate of melanoma diagnoses in Georgia is 13 percent  higher than the national average.

“Those commonly at risk for skin cancer tend to have blue or green eyes, blond or red hair and a lighter skin color that burns, freckles or reddens easily,” said Archbold medical director of radiation oncology Steve Johnson, MD.

Also at risk are people with family or personal history of skin cancer or sunburns, and people with increased exposure to the sun through work or play, as well as those with history of indoor tanning use.”

Another common type of cancer is oral cancer, part of a group of cancers referred to as head and neck cancers. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, these cancers kill roughly one person per hour. The death rate of this particular type of cancer is high, not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but often it is discovered late in its development when it is difficult to treat.

“People at higher risk for oral cancer are current or past smokers (cigarette, cigar or pipe smokers and smokeless tobacco users), excessive drinkers and those with family or personal history of cancer,” said Dr. Johnson.

On Friday, Archbold will offer free skin, head and neck cancer screenings from 3 pm until 5 pm at the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center located at 919 S. Broad St. in Thomasville.

The free screenings will include head, neck, oral and skin cancer screenings, kidney function testing (blood sample), blood pressure, height, weight/BMI and cholesterol and glucose screenings (blood sample). Tests and results will be provided free to participants as a clinical outreach effort supporting Archbold’s core value of community benefit.

“As with any disease, it can be difficult to predict who will get skin or oral cancer but routine screenings enable us to find these diseases in their earlier stages and most treatable stages,” said Bill Tustin, administrator of Archbold’s Singletary Oncology Center.

“Lives have been saved through cancer screenings, so we encourage everyone to take advantage of the free screenings, even if you aren’t experiencing any warning signs or symptoms.”

All screenings will be offered on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. For more information on this screening event, call (229) 584-5520.

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