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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 3, 2004

UI Dermatologists To Screen For Skin Cancer

Residents from the Department of Dermatology at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will conduct a free skin cancer screening (on exposed parts of the body only) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 at Sycamore Mall, 1660 Sycamore Street, in Iowa City.

The screening event will also offer visitors free educational information about actinic keratosis (AK) and skin cancer. Unfortunately, most Americans still don't know about the warning signs of one of the most common types of skin cancer. Caused by cumulative sun exposure, actinic keratosis is very common. The condition affects as many as 10 million Americans, more than all skin cancers combined.

AK appears as rough, red, scaly patches, crusts or sores on the top layer of the skin, and many people do not recognize or are ignoring them. Left untreated, AK may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, the second leading cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States. Because AK takes years to develop, the condition usually first appears in older people -- although cases have been reported in people in their 40s and 50s.

The incidence of skin cancer nationwide is rising dramatically. According to the American Cancer Society, during 2004 there are expected to be more than 7,910 deaths from melanoma and 1,000 to 2,000 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. However, if diagnosed in the early stages, all types of skin cancer are treatable and, in most cases, curable.

The screening event is made possible by an educational grant from 3M Pharmaceuticals. 3M Pharmaceuticals is partnering with dermatology residency programs nationwide to heighten public awareness of actinic keratosis and skin cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.