With the summer heat already here many students have taken up tanning, but with that comes the danger of skin cancer, which is why the Utah County Health Department is offering free skin cancer screening clinics.
A clinic will be held at the Utah County Health and Justice building July 25 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again Aug. 29 at the same time.
The environment and genetics contribute to the cause of skin cancer. According to a recent news release, there are over 1 million new cases of skin cancer yearly. Tracy Brimhall, a civil engineering student from South Jordan said she realizes the damaging affect the sun can have on her skin. She said her father had skin cancer and she wants to prevent this from happening by limiting her exposure to the sun.
“I know it’s bad for you, and I have other things I’d rather be doing,” Brimhall said.
Kassie Nelson, graduate student from Rigby, Idaho, has first-hand experience with skin cancer. She received 60 stitches on her forehead from getting cancerous skin removed. Nelson’s skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is the most common type. She said she noticed the spot when she was in high school, but didn’t think much about it until it started to expand.
“I wish I would’ve gone in,” Nelson said. “Don’t wait. Just come in.”
Her cancerous skin was linked to genetics, but she said she also attributes some of it from tanning as a teenager.
There’s no reason to stay cooped up inside all day, but people should use the proper sun protection and limit exposure when going out. Braun Edwards, from Provo, graduated in information systems and said he learned his lesson the hard way. He stayed in the sun at Seven Peaks for six hours, and as a result got a sunburn that was so bright red it was almost purple.
“I paid for it later,” Edwards said, “that night I had a fever and major chills.”
After a week he was fine, but he said he would never do the same thing again.
Be properly equipped for extended exposure, and if any questionable spots arise on the skin, don’t hesitate to get it checked. There are many options for screenings and one great resource is the free skin cancer screening clinic.
Clinics will be held through out the rest of the year September 18 and 19, October 24 and November 13 and 14. No appointments are necessary. For those who may have trouble paying for treatments, if a problem is detected on the skin, financial aid options are available. For additional information go to utahcountyhealth.org.