Fifty children and young adults participate in screening event, a first in Harford County
Fifty children and young adults, ranging in age from 8-30, participated in an adolescent melanoma screening May 20 at the Kaufman Cancer Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.
The screenings were held by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and Claire Marie Foundation. The screening was held in May, recognized as Sun Safety Month. It was the first screening event of its kind in Harford County.
Board certified dermatologists Dr. Jennifer Cooper and Dr. Dennis Kurgansky conducted the four-hour screenings. Of the 50 who participated in the screening, nine were found to need further evaluation or biopsy referrals.
Adolescent melanoma is a cancer that results from hormones and exposure to the sun. Typically found on a lower extremity, adolescent melanoma usually becomes noticeable as a child approaches or reaches puberty. Pregnant women are also susceptible to adolescent melanoma as are those with thyroid issues. Early detection is important, and the cancer is 90 percent curable.
“We are so pleased with how many people came to the adolescent melanoma screening. We plan to make this screening an annual event,” said Vickie Ensor Bands, director of community outreach and health improvement for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. “It is so important for children and young adults to be screened. Adolescent melanoma is the number one cancer that kills women ages 25-30. Early detection is a way to keep adolescent melanoma from taking lives.”
The Claire Marie Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting adolescent and young adult melanoma through awareness, education and prevention. It was founded by Marianne Bannister and her husband, Rocky Wagonhurst, both well-known media professionals in Baltimore, after the passing of their daughter, Claire Marie, from adolescent melanoma. The foundation holds screening days and other events throughout the year. For more information about the foundation, visit clairemariefoundation.org.
About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
In December 2013, Upper Chesapeake Health became University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. It consists of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air and the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit www.umuch.org for more information.