Unlike most publicity events, a Canadian Dermatology Association function led several people to discover they have cancer yesterday.
The group set up a skin cancer screening booth yesterday at the provincial legislature to bring attention to National Sun Awareness Week.
Of the first 30 people who undertook the voluntary screening, three were found to have mild forms of skin cancer while two more were diagnosed with “pre-cancer” blemishes.
That ratio of one-in-six happens to be the same ratio of Canadians who are expected to contract skin cancer at some point, according to Dr. Richard Langley.
Langley said cases can usually be cleared up with either minor surgery or in some cases surface medication. But people need to first realize they have a problem, which was what yesterday’s event was for.
“First it’s to raise awareness about the importance of skin cancer and the importance of preventing it and early detection,” said Langley. “And we’re also here to provide that service of early protection.”
Langley said many people put themselves at increased risk by not covering up from the sun and going to tanning beds. He said Nova Scotians have among the highest rates of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.