Oconto Falls – Have you noticed a new growth or discoloration on your skin? How about a mole that has changed color or has an irregular border? Why wonder if it could be skin cancer when you can be checked by a health care professional free of charge at the upcoming Mary Hendrickson-Johnson Skin Cancer Screening? About half of Americans will have skin cancer at least once by the time they are 65.
The Mary Hendrickson-Johnson Skin Screening event will be held in Oconto Falls on Monday, April 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main Street. The screening is free, but space is limited. Register and take the risk assessment online at www.maryhendricksonjohnson.org or call (920) 848-6398 to schedule an appointment. For a complete list of participating communities and dates, visit www.maryhendricksonjohnson.org.
After the loss of their daughter, Mary Hendrickson-Johnson, to skin cancer in 1988, Phil and Betsy Hendrickson, along with Mary’s husband, Paul Johnson, established the MHJ Foundation to support skin cancer detection and medical research. In the last 30 years, the event has driven 20,025 screenings and helped detect hundreds of cases of skin cancer in Eastern Wisconsin.
With more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year, the number of skin cancer cases is rising at alarming rates – even in Wisconsin, where some might believe there would be less of a concern:
There were approximately 1,350 new cases of skin cancer in Wisconsin in 2016.
In 2016, there were an estimated 200 skin cancer deaths in Wisconsin.
Melanoma skin cancer rates are rising faster than most cancers.
Skin cancer risks are based on many factors including family history, biological characteristics such as hair color, eye color, skin type, age, ethnicity and gender. Risks are also based on behavioral characteristics such as the area in which you live, level of sun exposure, number of severe burns, amount of skin protection used and use of tanning beds.
The good news is that if detected early, skin cancer has a very high cure rate – basal and squamous cell cancers have a nearly 100% cure rate. Melanoma has a 91% five-year survival rate.
As the warmer spring and summer months approach, it is important to get areas of concern checked and to protect your skin when outdoors:
Apply a minimum of SPF 15 sunscreen that filters both UVA and UVB rays, and reapply as directed.
Avoid sun exposure during peak hours. Stay in the shade or under an umbrella when possible.
Avoid tanning beds.
Children in particular should be protected from the sun because severe sunburns in childhood may greatly decrease risk of melanoma in later life.
The MHJ Foundation supports the skin cancer screening program with the Green Bay chapter of the American Cancer Society and HSHS St. Vincent Cancer Collaborative.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally-designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour physician-staffed emergency department, urgent care, general, vascular and orthopedic surgical services, inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, rehabilitation, oncology outpatient clinic and women’s care. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, in affiliation with Prevea Health, has five regional health center locations in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto Falls and Suring. Founded in 1921 as Community Memorial Hospital, in 2014, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital became the fourteenth hospital in Hospital Sisters Health System. As an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. For more information about St. Clare, visit www.stclarememorial.org.