By Kathy Walsh
LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Volunteer dermatologists are in Littleton for two days this week offering free skin cancer screenings inside a 38-foot RV. It is part of a mobile education program called Destination: Healthy Skin. It’s traveling across the country.
Colorado is an important stop. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV radiation at Denver’s altitude can be up to 38 percent more intense than at sea level. The higher you go, the more intense it gets. The free screening could save your life.
CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh was able to sit in on an exam done inside a tiny dermatology office inside the RV.
Dermatologist Dr. Stephen Ho greeted Tod Siegel and referred to paperwork Siegel had filled out.
“You have a spot of concern?” asked Ho.
The 54-year-old Siegel did — two bumps near his nose.
“They are actually benign. It’s called seborrhoeic keratosis,” explained Ho after taking a closer look.
That’s a harmless, warty spot that’s a common sign of skin aging, but the dermatologist did find something suspicious.
“That might be an early precancerous condition,” he said. “It’s called actinic keratosis.”
That’s a crusty, scaly growth caused by damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Ho examined Siegel from his head to his toes and even his hands were checked for skin cancer.
“This is the most thorough (exam) I’ve had,” said Siegel.
He was grateful for the free screening.
“Because I don’t have health insurance,” he said.
The skin cancer screening was courtesy of The Skin Cancer Foundation and Walgreens.
“One in five Americans will get skin cancer by age 70,” said Ho.
The dermatologist practices in Greenwood Village and volunteers when the mobile clinic stops in Colorado.
“A lot of us don’t really realize how dangerous the sun can be and how highly preventable skin cancer is,” Ho said.
The nationwide tour offers examinations and education. Siegel left with instructions to follow up with a physician and always protect himself in the sun.
The RV will make 50 stops on its trek. The final destination is healthy skin.
There will be one more screening session offered in Colorado:
- Wednesday, July 18 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Littleton Family YMCA 11 W. Dry Creek Court, Littleton, CO 80120