Lifewatch: Skin Cancer

WILMINGTON --  Sunshine can be addictive, and we get plenty of it in this beach area.  Too much sun can lead to skin cancer, but a simple test could save your life.

Patient Leo Sanker lives a short walk from Clearwater Beach, but spends most of his time out of the sun.

"You never see me laying on a beach or in the lounge.  On a sunny day I'll do my walking inside in grocery store or super market," said Sanker.

In 2007, Leo and his wife volunteered at Morton Plant hospital and decided to get a free skin screening.

Unfortunately, the doctor found Melanoma Cancer in a place he couldn't see.

"That I think was my biggest surprise; that it was under my shirt.  I wear a T-shirt and I couldn't figure out how I got skin cancer down there," said Sanker.

Even though Leo has been going to his doctor regularly, the spot was missed.

"The regular doctor doesn't make you take your shirt off," said Sanker.

Doctor Cathleen London has diagnosed melanoma in patients young and old.  According to London, in order to save lives from this deadly disease, you may need to be a little uncomfortable.

"You are going to be change into a gown where you should be naked and they will literally check everywhere, they will check your arms, chest, scalps, and legs. They should be touching you as well.  They should be looking and feeling for changes," said London.

As for Leo, he sees his dermatologist regularly and recommends you do the same.

Many times a screening is free and going to a dermatologist is best, but you can also ask your regular doctor to check your skin.

Reported by Kristy Ondo