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‘Mole Patrol’ Free Screenings Lead to Skin Cancer Diagnoses

‘Mole Patrol’ Free Screenings Lead to Skin Cancer Diagnoses

SAN DIEGO--The results of a series of five free annual skin
cancer screenings has demonstrated that community education and early detection
are valuable tools in addressing cancer prevention, said Rosemary Giuliano,
ARNP, MSN. She is national clinical research coordinator in the Cutaneous
Oncology Program’s Department of Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
& Research Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa.

The program was initially developed by Program Leader Douglas Reintgen, MD,
and coordinated by Christine A. Marsella, management assistant to Dr. Reintgen.
Ms. Giuliano explained the program and its benefits in her presentation at the
26th Annual Conference of the Oncology Nursing Society (abstract 178).

"The incidence of melanoma is increasing. In 2000 alone, one in 75
people in the United States will be diagnosed," Ms. Giuliano said.
"More than 600,000 new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer will occur every
year. In 1995, we developed a new community-outreach program to provide free
cancer screening to the community."

Each year, Ms. Giuliano and a group of volunteers go to the beach, set up a
tent with tables and chairs, as well as the Moffitt mobile bus, and conduct
skin screenings. The volunteers are health care providers from the Cancer
Center and the Lifetime Cancer Screening Center located at the Cancer Center.

"We peruse the beach and invite people to come to the tent for a
screening—or to the bus if they need privacy—and hand out sunscreen and
literature on proper sunscreen application," Ms. Giuliano said. "The
sunscreen is provided to us by the manufacturer. We’ve gotten great
television coverage for this, so it’s a real community effort."

Nearly 600 People Assessed

Between May 1995 and April 2000, five mole patrols were sponsored, and
medical personnel assessed 599 sunbathing and nonsunbathing beachgoers for
atypical skin lesions.

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