REVERE (CBS) — It’s a beach day of an unusual kind— a chance for what could be a lifesaving skin cancer screening.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. So instead of the patients coming to the clinic, the clinic came to them.
It happened on Revere Beach. While people soaked up the sun, staff from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber offered free skin cancer screenings through a mobile clinic.
“We’re taking it out into the community and being an office outside at the beach for people, which is terrific,” said Dr. Elizabeth Buzney, dermatologist at the Brigham.
And it was an extremely busy day. About 60 people were screened in just three hours.
Staff started with what’s called “reveal imagery,” a photo system that shows sun damage from UV rays, followed by a skin screening by a dermatologist.
“Our purpose is early detection. It’s a very big problem,” said Dr. Buzney. “There are millions of Americans that are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. There are many people that die from skin cancer.”
Beach-goer Bruce Bennett wanted to get a couple of spots looked at, and it was good he did.
“These are just age spots, but some other spots she said could be cancerous and to have it checked further with my regular dermatologist,” he said.
Others like Krista Lake stopped by just to be safe.
“Just curious, honestly, because you never know. I’m out in the sun almost every day,” Lake said.
The professional’s best advice? Use caution.
“I really want them reaching for hats and sun protective clothing,” said Dr. Buzney.
And of course, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. “Slather it on!” said Dr. Buzney.
The dermatologist did find a few skin cancers during the exams, and made referrals. The next stop for the screening clinic is Nahant Beach a week from Friday. The mobile clinic will visit several beaches throughout the summer.
For screening schedules and locations, visit the Dana Farber website.