was recently diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma on my nose. In August
I’ll have Mohs surgery
to remove it.
To be clear, basal cell
carcinoma is a form of skin cancer – one of the most common forms of the
most common form of cancer overall. It grows very slowly, is very unlikely to
spread to other parts of the body and is very treatable if caught early and
dealt with relatively quickly.
That being said, it’s still kind of scary when your dermatologist tells you you have cancer. It’s a lot less scary when you’ve been doing regular annual screenings because you live in Colorado and you know you’re at elevated (literally) risk of getting skin cancer.
higher the altitude, the thinner the atmosphere and therefore the lower the
natural protection from ultraviolet radiation (UV) generated by the sun.
also at higher risk because I’m a male over the age of 50 – the most commonly
at-risk group for contracting a basal cell carcinoma. Plus, I’m a male
over 50 who skis, hikes and bikes a lot above 7,000 feet in the Colorado high
cell carcinoma most commonly forms after years of intense exposure to
the sun and can form even if you’ve done a good job of protecting high-exposure
areas (like your nose) with clothing, sunscreen or both. That’s why at age 50 I
started do annual skin checks.
the past I’ve interviewed my dermatologist, Dr. Aaron Lloyd at Colorado
Mountain Medical in Avon, for a
story in the Vail Daily. He recommended a good website out of New Zealand
(with far less pharmaceutical company influence) for more information. It’s
“One in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer, and it can be preventable to some extent with proper sunscreen application,” said Kandice Martinez, Beauty Area Expert for Walgreens in Colorado, including the Avon store.
“So on the bus [in Denver] we will have the local dermatologist and they are doing the complimentary full body screenings in private exam rooms,” Martinez said. “Then they’ll also be giving advice on what to look for, warning signs as well as overall skin protection.”
The mobile facility, part of the Destination: Healthy Skin
program, will be in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood providing free screenings
the next two days. That’s a big plus for people with healthcare access or
insurance issues that may prevent them from getting annual screenings.
be on the bus doing that, which is really great because it can take months
sometimes to get into a dermatologist, and it can be costly,” Martinez added. “The
fact that we’re doing this completely complimentary is really amazing.”
True, and here are the details on
this weekend’s event in Denver:
Walgreens and The Skin
Cancer Foundation Invite You to The “Destination: Healthy Skin” Experience Free
Skin Cancer Screenings in Denver Saturday 7/13 and Sunday 7/14
Walgreens, a provider
of trusted care in communities since 1901, has joined The Skin Cancer
Foundation on the road this year in support of its Destination: Healthy Skin
Program – a national effort to educate consumers about the importance of
effective sun protection for skin cancer prevention, and the importance of
early detection. During the nationwide tour, consumers will have the
opportunity to enter an innovative, customized RV with private exam rooms where
trained dermatologists will provide FREE full-body skin cancer screenings.
Trained Dermatologists – To provide FREE skin cancer screening
to consumers in the interactive RV truck. Share insights on suncare do’s and
don’ts, and tips to stay skin-safe.
Walgreens Beauty Experts – To educate visitors on the importance of sun
protection, distribute sunscreen samples, share best beauty products with SPF,
and offer best practices to treat sunburn
At the events, Walgreens will
host interactive skincare experiences featuring specially trained
Walgreens beauty consultants and pharmacists.
These experts will be on-site
to distribute sunscreen samples, educate visitors on the importance of sun
protection, provide recommendations for sunburn treatment and talk with
people about possible photosensitive effects of certain prescription
In addition to the skincare
educational sessions, Walgreens invites program participants to share
their sunscreen knowledge by participating in a fun social media activity
called, “Show Us Your Sunscreen Face.”
Visitors will receive samples
of Walgreens sunscreen and are encouraged to apply it in a creative way,
such as the “lifeguard nose.”
Participants can then take a
photo of their “sunscreen face” and share with their friends using a
Follow along via @Walgreens and
using hashtag #saveyourskin.
SKIN CANCER IN THE U.S.
According to The Skin Cancer
Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United
States, and incidence continues to rise.
It’s estimated that one in five
Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
When skin cancer is found and
removed early, there is a higher probability of a cure.
SKIN CANCER IN Colorado
It’s estimated that 1,830 new
cases of melanoma, one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, will be
diagnosed in Colorado in 2019
Higher altitude means increased
risk of sun-induced skin damage, since UV radiation exposure increases 4
to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of
9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense
than at sea level.
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.