With summer in full swing and Iowa one of the targets for skin cancer, Dr. Erin Ducharme of Ducharme Dermatology wants her neighbors to understand the importance of skin care and where to start when it comes to finding the right doctor.
"The rate of melanoma has doubled in this country over the last 30 years," Ducharme told Norwalk Times. "This is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It’s a killer of young people; it’s the most common form of skin cancer in people younger than 30."
Ducharme explained that though the widespread nature of the disease is frightening, when caught early the disease is nearly 100 percent curable, making it one of the most important diseases to be vigilant about.
"When it’s caught early, the cure rates are phenomenally high, in the high 90s with the 10-year survival being 95 percent," Ducharme said.
However, when left untreated, the disease's survival rate is only 10-15 percent at the 10-year mark.
Additionally, Iowa is one of the states with the worst levels of skin cancer, making it an ideal place for Ducharme's practice in order to save lives.
"Iowa has the third-highest incident rate of skin cancer and death from melanoma in the Midwest, so even though we’re not a coastal state, Iowa has the 12th-highest incidence of melanoma deaths in the United States," Ducharme said.
While all of the statistics can be frightening to consider, Ducharme encourages individuals to take their health into their own hands by utilizing the online databases that are available to them.
"The key here is ‘know who your dermatologist is,’" Ducharme said. "The American Academy of Dermatology, AAD.org, where people can learn more about skin conditions, treatments options and can find other board-certified dermatologists."
For more information on Ducharme Dermatology, how they can help you, or to make an appointment, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ducharmederm/.