Doctors More Likely to Detect Skin Cancer

Research points out importance of professional skin cancer screenings

By Sara Story
|  Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011  |  Updated 7:15 PM CDT
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Denton Regional Medical Center hope people to make skin cancer screenings a part of their routine, so that the dealy form of cancer can be spotted in it's earliest stages.

Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

Denton Regional Medical Center hope people to make skin cancer screenings a part of their routine, so that the dealy form of cancer can be spotted in it's earliest stages.

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New research suggests that self exams are not as effective as skin cancer screenings by a doctor.

Doctors detect melanoma at higher rates, according to a study at a New York City cancer center.

"Skin cancer is right before our eyes," Dr. Robert Smith said.

Smith said people must know what to look for, and physicians are more likely to spot thinner lesions and cancer in its earliest stage.

"This is something we have the opportunity to do every day," he said. "You train your eye to pick these things out."

Helen Hare, a cancer survivor whose parents died of cancer, said she now takes every step in cancer prevention and early detection. She and her husband signed up for free cancer screenings being held at the Denton Regional Medical Center on Tuesday.

"I'm really not sure what the cancer looks like," she said. "I would rather someone that is professional check to see if there is anything we need to pay attention to."

Smith he hopes free screenings like Tuesday's will prompt people to get checked on a regular basis.

"Even if the patient is not concerned by it, we may very well be concerned by it," he said.

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