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More Than 500 Screened for Skin Cancer

In June, more than 500 NIH employees received free skin cancer screenings by dermatologists at the Clinical Center. Also, digital images were taken of their backs, legs, arms and hands. The employees had an opportunity to participate in research from a study subject's perspective. The project was prompted by a need for development of a simple, quick and reproducible method for screening skin conditions.

Tom Vuke operates camera for new skin cancer detection technique.

The screening, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, was part of a study to determine if this new photographic technique can be used to identify skin conditions in people of all skin hues. This approach had never been assessed before. If the study confirms its validity and reliability, it will be integrated into the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The National Center for Health Statistics within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the major organizer and sponsor of the NHANES series.

More than 1,000,000 people are affected by skin cancer each year, including men and women of all ages, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Early identification of these cancers could prevent a substantial number of serious health complications. All participants in the screening program received a report. A list of Washington, D.C., area dermatologists was available, and those participants with suspicious findings were encouraged to seek additional evaluation and/or treatment.

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