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2007 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease, Moffitt Cancer Center Team Up for 11th Annual Melanoma Monday

Free Skin Cancer Screenings: Bring a Friend, Learn Life Saving Information

CLEARWATER, Fla., (April 23, 2007) - The buddy system appears to work when it comes to catching skin cancer. New research according to the American Academy of Dermatology shows people who are assisted by someone else – such as a friend or a physician – when performing skin exams are more motivated and more likely to continue performing skin exams on a regular basis, potentially catching skin cancer earlier. The research indicates that deaths from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, could be lowered by as much as 63 percent if skin self-examinations were performed monthly.

Morton Plant Mease Health Care supports regular skin cancer screenings and encourage people to bring a friend to this year’s Melanoma Monday held on May 7. Free skin cancer screening appointments will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon at the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion, 455 Pinellas Street, on the campus of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.

The screenings will be performed by a team of 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. This is the 11th year for this 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:

* Approximately 8,110 Americans will die of melanoma this year, nearly one every hour

* Melanoma accounts for 73 percent of all skin cancer deaths

* Five or more sunburns double your risk of skin cancer

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

To schedule a free skin cancer screening, please call (727) 462-7500. Screenings involve a visual inspection of the body and take approximately 10 minutes. Participants are asked to wear comfortable, loose clothing. The screenings are conducted in a public environment and will involve exposed skin only.

In addition to receiving a free skin exam from some of the Tampa Bay area’s top cancer specialists, visitors to Melanoma Monday will receive free sun safety information.

The partnership between Morton Plant Mease Health Care and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute 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