Skin Cancer Foundation takes awareness to the streets

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Skin Cancer Foundation takes awareness to the streets. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 13, 2017. (WPVI)

Digitas Health, Razorfish Health, Publicis Health agencies and the Skin Cancer Foundation have teamed up to provide free skin cancer checks.

It's not always easy to get in to see a dermatologist, so they brought the dermatologist to the people.

Right at Dilworth Park, as workers strolled by, residents relaxed and kids beat the heat, the Skin Cancer Foundation set up their mobile unit.

Dermatologist Dr. Stephen Hess was busy inside checking for signs of skin cancer.

"We're promoting awareness, we're going to be out in the public, and we're bringing the clinic to the streets today," Hess said.

He says skin cancer can happen to anyone, any age, any race and any part of the body.

You can use the A-B-C-D-E (Asymmetry/ Border / Color / Diameter / Evolving) method to evaluate your moles or freckles.

But even if you're not sure, it's best to get it checked by a professional.

"The people who run into problems are the people who don't come in, don't have their spots checked, and ignore them and that's when skin cancer can become deadly," Hess said.

Susan Manber, an executive for Digitas Health, says she's fortunate she acted on a spot she first thought was just a pimple.

"My daughter said, 'Mom what's that on your nose?' It was a tiny whitehead on the end of my nose," Manber said.

A biopsy revealed it was a very rare and deadly form of skin cancer called Merkel Cell Carcinoma.

Manber had seven surgeries, chemo and radiation. She tells others now to protect yourself from the sun, wear sunscreen, seek shade, and get anything suspicious checked out.

"If I hadn't I wouldn't be here having this conversation," Manber said.

She was treated in 2013. After almost a year of treatment, she got her first cancer-free scan. She celebrated by running a 5K.

"I'm doing great. I just passed my fourth anniversary of being cancer free and I just set my wedding date for my fifth year of being cancer free," Manber said.

For more on how to spot skin cancer, visit Skincancer.org
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