September 10, 2008

Follow This Road to Detecting Skin Cancer

By >Leo Smith/Staff Writer

It's common knowledge that monitoring the health of your skin is of extreme importance, especially here in sunny Southern California.

But really, when was the last time you saw a dermatologist? How recently have you had your skin checked for potential signs of cancer?

Well, no more excuses.

The Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy Skin Tour has made its way to Los Angeles County, making five area stops this week to provide free cancer screenings by local board-certified dermatologists.

The tour's customized RV has two exam rooms, in which doctors will give visitors free scalp-to-toe exams, looking for skin discolorations and suspicious marks.

If doctors find moles, they will advise visitors to check the area periodically, keeping an eye out for changes in mole color or shape. If they find something more serious, doctors will refer patients to their regular dermatologists.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 1 million cases are diagnosed annually and 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives.

Between 40 percent and 50 percent of people who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once, according to the foundation.

For more information, go to

Following is the Los Angeles County screening schedule. All screenings are being conducted at Rite Aid pharmacies:

>When: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

>Where: 133 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.

>When: 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday.

>Where: 7900 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.

>When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

>Where: 300 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills.

>When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.

>Where: 7859 Firestone Blvd., Downey.

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