Dermatologists are at the forefront of the fight to save the lives of those impacted by skin cancer. As the most common form of cancer in the United States – affecting 1 in 5 Americans – skin cancer is a serious health issue affecting people across all ages, races, and other demographics. An estimated 9,500 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each day.
Despite this, the general public is largely under informed or misinformed about the seriousness of skin cancer, creating greater risk for late-stage diagnosis and related treatment complications.
That’s why May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to improving public knowledge about the risks factors and encouraging everyone to get an annual skin cancer screening. Here’s how you can help keep your patients educated, aware, and healthy in May and all year long.
Share the Facts About Skin Cancer
Education is one of our greatest preventative tools when it comes to skin cancer. While most people understand the importance of yearly physicals and health checks to prevent things like heart disease, diabetes, or other forms of cancer, they often don’t think of a skin exam as a part of their annual health care routine.
Improved skin health education can help solve this problem and save lives through early detection and intervention. The American Academy of Dermatology and Skin Cancer Foundation have libraries of free resources you can share with your patients, across your online platforms, or even keep posted in your office.
Some fast facts you can use include:
The ABCDEs of Skin Cancer
- Asymmetrical shape: Uneven shape or pattern
- Border: Outer edges uneven
- Color: Dark black or multiple colors
- Diameter: Greater than 6 millimeters
- Evolving: Change in size, shape, or color
Common Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
- Genetics and family history of skin cancer
- Excessive, unprotected UV exposure from both sun and tanning beds
- Fairer features: blond or red Hair, blue eyes, and freckled skin
- Many existing moles
- Weakened immune system
Common and Uncommon Places Skin Cancer May be Found
- Face, including the nose, lips, forehead, and ears
- Neck and shoulders
- Extremities that are most commonly exposed to the sun, such as the arms, hands, chest, back, and legs
- Under the fingernails or toenails
- On the palms or soles of the feet
- Inside the mouth
Embracing your role as an advocate, educator, and health care provider not only helps to increase general awareness about the risks and dangers of skin cancer, but can also act as a boon for your new and existing patients to schedule appointments.
Boosting Your Appointments Through Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Beyond
While skin cancer screenings may only take a few minutes, these short interactions can be enough to save a life. They also act as a great opportunity to remind your patients of the importance of regular screenings or recommend other treatments that may benefit them. Your patient-centered approach to care goes a long way in converting new patients into returning patients and helping to sustain your appointment books all year long.
Staying abreast of national awareness campaigns like Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a great way to contribute to community health and safety initiatives. They also serve as an excellent opportunity to boost brand awareness and establish your authority in the field.
As a practicing physician, you likely don’t have much time to dedicate to things like digital marketing or social media management. That’s where partnering with a practice management group like DermCare Management can help. We take the tedious, time-consuming business management tasks off your plate so you can focus on what matters: providing excellent care to your patients.
Other benefits of partnering with DermCare include:
- Accessing the liquidity of your business before retirement
- Shared back office support, including finance, payroll, staffing and recruitment, group purchasing, marketing, legal, and compliance
- eMR, billing, and online scheduling support
- Preferential access to our brand partnership benefits with top manufacturers
- Negotiations of payor rates
- Economic protection against inflation and raising costs