Skin Cancer screening marks 25th year at the Dubuque County Fair - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Skin Cancer screening marks 25th year at the Dubuque County Fair

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DUBUQUE, IA - Mercy Medical Center and Medical Associates Clinic Department of Dermatology will once again conduct their annual Skin Cancer Screening at the Dubuque County Fair from 2 - 7 p.m. daily starting on Tuesday, July 21 and running through Sunday, July 26. Mercy Community Education nurses will also provide information at the booth each day starting at 12:30 p.m.

This is the 25th anniversary of the skin cancer screening at the fair. In 1985, The American Academy of Dermatology began its National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program to educate millions of people about the importance of sun protection and to save lives by finding skin cancer in its earliest, treatable stage.

Dermatologists Allen Harves, MD, and David Stabenow, MD, of Medical Associates Clinic, and Community Education nurse Julie Hemmer, RN, of Mercy - Dubuque, were there in 1985 and have been there every year since. They will be on hand again this year.

Thousands of people have attended the screening during the past 25 years. "We've screened over 12,000 people and referred around 1,500 for possible skin cancer," said Julie Hemmer. "A lot of lives have been touched through the screening and education about the importance of early detection."

The Dubuque County Fair was selected as the site of the screening because the thousands of people who attend the fair can conveniently get their skin checked by a doctor for any suspicious spots and can learn how to tell the difference between a normal mole and a dangerous one and ways to prevent skin cancer.

While there is an admission fee into the fair, the screening is free, thanks to the time and expertise donated by Drs. Harves and Stabenow. The fair does offer free admission until 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

The rate of skin cancer has been steadily rising for the past 70 years. People can play an active role in staying healthy or getting prompt treatment through early detection.

According to the American Cancer Society, any symptoms should be reported to a doctor. These symptoms include: Any change on the skin, especially in the size or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented growth or spot, or a new growth; Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule; The spread of pigmentation beyond its border such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark; Change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain.

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