On Thursday, September 28, Dr. José E. Peraza of the Peraza Dermatology Group offered free skin cancer screenings to area firefighters at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont. More than a dozen firefighters from Claremont received the screening.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. When discovered and treated early, it is almost always curable. If it goes undetected, however, it can advance and spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
“It is crucial to identify melanoma and other types of skin cancer in the early stages,” Dr. Peraza said. “We wanted to make sure we offered the firefighting community this screening to raise awareness of skin cancer while expressing our ongoing gratitude for their service to our local communities.”
Peter Wright, President and CEO of Valley Regional Hospital, said, ““This screening was a great way to make sure firefighters understand the risks of skin cancer. It was a great pleasure to host this event. VRH and our medical staff are proud of the brave men and women of public safety who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe."
Jim Chamberlain, President of the Professional Firefighters of Claremont (PFFC) said, “Firefighters are hard-working, tough, and humble. They don’t always like to talk about their health, but Dr. Peraza and Valley Regional Hospital made it easy and painless to get this important screening. We appreciate their work, time, and professionalism.”
Melanoma, which is caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun, is predicted to kill nearly 10,000 people in the United States in 2017. Dr. Peraza emphasized the importance of regular screenings for everyone and stressed the importance of sun protection. The surest form of prevention is to use SPF 30 sunscreen or stronger and to wear appropriate protective clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat.
Throughout the year, Dr. Peraza and his colleagues at PDG conduct similar screenings around the Upper Valley. If your municipality's firefighters or law enforcement community would be interested in a similar screening, contact Peraza Dermatology Group here