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2006 Press Releases
Moffitt Morton Plant Mease Cancer Care Heads to Beach for Free Skin Cancer Screenings
04/26/2006

10th Annual Melanoma Monday - Statistics Show Cancer on the Rise

CLEARWATER, Fla., (April 11, 2006) - The most deadly form of skin cancer is on the rise. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there will be nearly 112,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States this year - a nine percent increase in new cases from 2005. Approximately 4,870 of those cases will be diagnosed in Florida.

"Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that can easily spread to other areas of the body and can be fatal," said Tim McMahon, director of cancer services, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. "The good news is if caught early through the quick, non-invasive skin cancer screenings we will be providing free to the community on Melanoma Monday, this type of skin cancer and others, is almost always curable."

On Melanoma Monday, May 1, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Pier 60 Pavilion on Clearwater Beach a team of 20 physicians and nurse practioners from Moffitt Morton Plant Mease Cancer Care (a partnership between the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute) will provide free skin cancer screenings to beachgoers. This is the 10th year for the Moffitt Morton Plant Mease event that is part of a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness about skin cancer and encourage early detection through screening.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Cancer Society:

* One American dies of melanoma nearly every hour

* One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime

* Five or more sunburns double your risk of skin cancer

* 80 percent of skin damage caused by the sun is done before age 18

* 66 percent of teenagers, despite knowing the dangers of the sun and tanning booths to their skin, still think people look better with a tan

During last year's Melanoma Monday nearly 400 beachgoers were screened and more than 60 cases of possible skin cancer were detected. In addition to receiving a free skin exam from some of the Tampa Bay area's top cancer specialists, beachgoers will receive free sunscreen samples and sun safety information.

The partnership between Morton Plant Mease Health Care and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Center was formed in order to provide research and services for cancer patients.

Situated on the campus of the University of South Florida, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute is a world-renowned cancer treatment and research facility. In 2001, the National Cancer Institute awarded Moffitt the status of a Comprehensive Cancer Center in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals - Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 419-4471 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager

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