Free Skin Cancer Screenings at Nine St. Louis Area Locations May 12

Nine hospitals and medical centers in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties will host this year’s annual free skin cancer screening on Saturday, May 12. Groups including the St. Louis Dermatological Society, American Academy of Dermatology, and American Cancer Society are coordinating the event, which aims to screen around a thousand area residents for the single most common form of cancer: skin cancer.

The program includes a free, total body skin examination in a private exam room. Those needing treatment will be referred to a dermatologist if they do not already have one. The screening only takes about five minutes with the doctor, and an estimated 20 minutes total at the screening center. Twenty minutes that could be life-saving by detecting a cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.

“This is a great opportunity for the dermatologists involved to provide a community service for patients who otherwise would not have their skin examined,” said Dr. Lee Portnoff, Dermatologic Surgeon at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and coordinator of the annual program. “Since the program’s inception in St. Louis in 1985, we’ve detected several thousand skin cancers, some of which might have been fatal had they not been found at an early stage.”

Participating facilities, screening times and appointment phone numbers include:

Mercy Hospital: at David C. Pratt Cancer Center

9:00-2:00, Call the Cancer Center at 314-251-6400

Barnes Jewish Hospital: at Siteman St. Peters

8:00-11:00, Call 636-928-5355

Saint Louis University-Des Peres

8:00-12:00, Call 314-977-4440

Saint Louis University-Anheuser Busch Institute

8:00-12:00, Call 314-977-4440

St. Luke’s Hospital, East Bldg., Ste.  330

8:00-12:00, Call 314-542-4848

St. Joseph Health Center – St. Charles

8:00-12:00, Call Cindy Broder at 636-755-3034

Missouri Baptist Medical Center – *Already full

9:00-2:00, To get on the wait list call 314-996-5433

Barnes Jewish West County Hospital – *Already full

9:00-1:00, To get on the wait list call 314-542-9378 or 800-392-0936

St. Anthony’s Medical Center: at St. Anthony’s Cancer Center – *Already full            

9:00-1:00, To get on the wait list call 314-268-4669

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Every year more than one million cases of basal cell or squamous cell cancers occur. Most, but not all, of these forms of skin cancer are highly curable. Nationwide this American Academy of Dermatology program has screened over 2.1 million people and detected more than 206,500 suspicious lesions, including more than 23,500 suspected melanomas.

Monthly self skin checks are also important. People should be familiar with their pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles and other marks on their skin to notice any changes. Have a doctor look at any moles or spots on the skin that are changing in size, shape or color. Be sure to promptly point out any unusual sore, lump, blemish, marking, or change in the way the skin looks or feels.

For more information on skin cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit

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