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 screeningor to the bus if they need privacyand 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.