Faculty and Staff: For Your Benefit

Monthly Well ’Canes Free Skin Cancer Screenings Continue

UHealth Dermatology offers free full-body skin cancer screenings for University of Miami faculty and staff enrolled in a UM/Aetna medical plan on the third Friday of every month. The ongoing screenings take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at the University of Miami Hospital, suite M.

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery and Director of the Anna Fund Melanoma Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, will conduct the screenings, which are recommended for everyone, regardless of personal or family medical history.

Skin cancer is prevalent in South Florida with more than one out of five people developing skin cancer in their lifetime. There are three major forms of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, often present on the face, particularly the nose, and may appear as a translucent area, which can easily break down and bleed. Squamous cell carcinoma generally develops in heavily sun damaged areas on the face and arms and appears as a firm scaly area, which may be somewhat tender when touched.

The most deadly major form of skin cancer is melanoma. Melanoma can be difficult to identify early as it often appears similar to a mole; however, it tends to not match the other moles on the body. As it grows, it becomes progressively more non-uniform. In a recent study from Germany, death from melanoma was decreased by 47 percent in men and 49 percent in women, suggesting skin cancer screening saves lives. Early detection also results in simpler and smaller cancer treatments resulting in less scarring, if treatment is necessary.

Offered annually, the screenings are designed to be quick to allow you to return to work right away. Most patients can be in and out of the office within 15 minutes. If biopsies or other advanced care, such as use of total body photos or confocal imaging, are required, then a formal appointment will be required. If a lesion poses concern, patients may choose to follow up with a physician of their choice and UM dermatology will expedite the appointment if a UM physician is chosen. Ultimately, it is the patient’s responsibility to follow up on a lesion.

To schedule an appointment, please call 305-243-6704. Remember to bring your Aetna medical insurance card with you. For additional information about the University of Miami’s wellness offerings, visit www.miami.edu/wellcanes.