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Skin Cancer Team Urges Education, Awareness

The Cancer Center’s Skin and Soft Tissue Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team (MDC Team) is urging greater awareness and education during National Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May and throughout the year.

 

(Baton Rouge, La.) Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma will account for more than 76,000 cases of invasive skin cancer in 2014.This is why Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Skin and Soft Tissue Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team (MDC Team) is urging greater awareness and education during  National Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May and throughout the year.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer, according to Dr. John Lyons, chair of the Skin Cancer MDC Team. “The good news is that the disease can often be prevented, and it can usually be cured when it’s found and treated early. However, it’s never too soon to start educating children on the importance of sun screen and staying protected from harmful UV rays.”

The Skin Cancer MDC Team is focusing on educating parents and children on the cumulative effect of sun damage. Due to lack of national societal consensus on guidelines for routine screening for skin cancer, the team is also offering primary care physicians a list of characteristics that the MDC team has determined will cause a person to be at a higher risk for the disease.

“Our team’s recommendations are based on a quality-driven, evidence-based approach to diagnosing and treating cancers of the skin and soft tissues. The guidance we provide to the community and physicians is derived from best practice guidelines and adherence and to quality improvement initiatives,” said Dr. Lyons.

The Skin MDC Team offers the following basic pointers on how adults and children can protect their skin:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat
  • Check your skin once a month for changes

The Skin and Soft Tissue MDC Team is a community-wide team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine doctors, dermatologists, Mohs surgeons, pediatricians, pathologists, nurses and allied health professionals who are working to enhance care for skin and soft tissue cancer patients, and create a greater awareness for sun safety in our community.
Individuals are encouraged to talk with their doctor about whether a skin cancer screening is right for them. For more information on sun safety and skin cancer, visit www.mbpolol.org.

Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home. The Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that is developing a national model for community cancer care.