Skin Cancer prevention is key

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- It's the cancer that often goes unnoticed. We're talking about skin cancer and it's the most common form of cancer. So because of that, one Wiregrass dermatology clinic is offering free skin cancer screenings.

"I want to live the best life I can from here on," said Shelby Jean Boyd.

Boyd had a skin cancer screening for the first time Tuesday. She came here after seeing a spot on her cheek that concerned her.

"I wanted to know, I wanted to do something about it if it was cancerous," said Boyd.

Boyd tells us her diagnosis was pre-cancerous…

So what does this exam entail?

The doctor will look at your body to see if all the moles look similar in color, in shape and size. They use ABCDE’S as a guide for pigmented lesions.

A for asymmetry
B for border
C for color
D for diameter
E for evolving

If a spot on your body fits into those ABCDE’s, you should see a doctor.

Sydney Givens, Dermatology Physician’s Assistant, says everyone is vulnerable to skin cancer - and using tanning beds is like smoking cigarettes... it can kill.

"In my lifetime there's probably going to be laws against it," said Givens.

Your head is vulnerable, so wear hats.

"There’s a lot of sun around here. We all grew up in the sun and honestly with sunscreen it's not enough to prevent,” said Givens.

That's why Givens says yearly exams are important.

"We see skin all day every day. We see norma,l normal, normal, so when we see abnormal - we know," said Givens.

Knowing earlier can prevent the deadliest skin cancer - melanoma. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 1 in 5 Americans will get diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

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