MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Skin cancer is the most common cancer. It is curable and can be prevented. Still, there are more than three million cases of skin cancer detected every year in the U.S. Getting screened for it– could be a life-saving decision.
Patricia Damon is a frequent patient at Connecticut Dermatology Group in Milford.
On this visit, it is her right arm which has Dr. Frank Pinto’s attention.
Dr. Pinto tells her, “That’s unfortunately another basil cell carcinoma which you have had many of.”
A biopsy confirmed she has yet another case of a common form of skin cancer.
“I grew up in Milford and we kids played outside all the time,” says Patricia, “not like kids today. We were outside in the sun, we didn’t have sunscreens or whatever.”
Dr. Pinto says – while more people are aware and getting screened for the most curable cancer — there is still a disconnect.
“People still don’t understand that the main cause of skin cancer is excessive exposure to ultra-violet light, namely the sun.”
To underscore the fact that if detected and treated early, the better the outcome for patients like Patricia — Connecticut Dermatology is offering a free screening.
Dr. Pinto says to expect, “A full body skin exam, pretty much head to toe, looking for unusual moles or other types of suspicious spots.”
Meantime, Patricia is getting the lastest cancer site removed.
“People don’t really realize that little blemish on your back, or your arm, or your face can be something serious.”
Something– Patricia knows all too well as she points to her neck and cheek.
“This was 79 stitches, five hours. I don’t know how many stitches here but this was done twice.”
Another look at her face has Dr. Pinto observing this, “It looks like you have some actinic keratosis-some pre-cancers on your face.”
That he says can wait till the next visit.
Patricia says, “I just automatically make an appointment for every three to four months to be checked.”
A decision that has the 92-year-old living strong.
The free skin cancer screening is set for Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CT Dermatology Group, 833 Broad Street, Milford.
You can sign up here or call 203-878-3435.
For other free skin cancer screenings in CT can be found here.