Cancer screenings result in multiple referrals for additional care

June 4, 2013

Arizona’s claim to fame is its more than 300 days of sunshine per year, which also brings to light the importance of skin cancer screening. In May, National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare in Flagstaff and Sedona offered free skin cancer screenings at their Flagstaff and Sedona locations, alerting more than 50 people to their need for a biopsy.

In Flagstaff, physicians screened 125 people and recommended 36 for a biopsy. In Sedona, 57 people were screened. Of those, 22 were referred for a follow up and physicians recommended 16 of the 22 have a biopsy.

As summer gets under way, safe sun exposure practices are encouraged. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting exposure, wearing protective clothing and accessories, and applying sunscreen. Avoid being outdoors mid-day and if it is necessary, seek shade under an umbrella, tree or shelter, according to the CDC. Covering skin protects it, so wear as much clothing as possible taking the heat into consideration. Wear a hat that shades the face, scalp, neck and ears, and sunglasses that wrap around for full coverage and block as close to 100-percent UVA and UVB rays as possible. Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 that blocks UVA and UVB rays; apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply while outside. While summer is a popular time to be outside, sun protection is important year-round, especially in one of the sunniest places in the U.S.

The Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare are located in Flagstaff and Sedona and are devoted to the comprehensive treatment and early diagnosis of cancer through advanced technology and individualized care. For more information on the Cancer Centers, in Flagstaff, call 928-773-2261; in Sedona call, 928-204-4160; or visit