'Road to Healthy Skin' tour wraps up sixth year of free skin cancer screenings

NEW YORK — The Skin Cancer Foundation’s annual Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid, has wrapped up its sixth cross-country journey, bringing free skin cancer screenings and prevention information to communities across America.

During this year’s tour, volunteer dermatologists detected 788 suspected pre-cancers and cancers, including 29 suspected melanomas.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and since 2008, the Foundation’s volunteer dermatologists have potentially saved 300 lives — as this is the number of suspected melanomas that have been detected since the tour began six years ago. By detecting suspected skin cancers, often in early stages, the tour and its volunteer dermatologists serve an important role in communities. The five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 98%. The survival rate declines significantly if the disease has the chance to spread. 

Over a four-month period, the 2013 tour made 53 stops throughout 13 states, spanning approximately 14,000 miles. Seventy dermatologists lent their time to perform screenings in the tour’s customized 38-foot RV, equipped with two private exam rooms. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone older than 18 years see a dermatologist annually for a full-body skin-exam. The Foundation also recommends that everyone examine their skin from head-to-toe at least once a month, looking for any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. A yearly skin exam performed by a physician is important, but it’s just as important to see the doctor whenever a mole changes or grows, the Foundaton stated.

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 2013 Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid, received additional support from BASF Corp., Energizer Personal Care — the maker of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand sunscreens — Leo Pharma and LLumar Window Films.

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