UCSF Offers Free Screenings, Raises Awareness of Skin Cancer

By UCSF News Office | May 11, 2011

The UCSF Department of Dermatology, in partnership with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Chinatown Public Health Clinic, offered free skin cancer screenings in Chinatown to mark National Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

UCSF faculty and residents performed the screenings for scores of men and women.

The main risk factor for skin cancer is exposure to sunlight (UV radiation), but there are also other risk factors, such as family history, skin that burns easily and certain medical conditions or medicines.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Each year, more than 68,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and another 48,000 are diagnosed with an early form of the disease that involves only the top layer of skin. In the US, more than 90 percent of the most deadly skin cancers -- malignant melanomas -- occur in the white population. Among young women the incidence is rising most rapidly.

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