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MARBLE FALLS — With skin cancer as the No. 1 form of a cancer, a local dermatology business wants to give Highland Lakes residents a chance at prevention or early detection.

And, as with most cancers, early detection is one of the fundamental steps to combating skin cancer.

“What people don’t realize (is) melanoma caught in early stages is fairly curable,” said Christian Scarborough, a spokesman for Westlake Dermatology, which has an office in Marble Falls at 507 FM 2147 West, Suite 202. “But once it gets down deep into the skin, it’s almost always incurable.”

Scarborough knows from personal experience the dangers of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. A friend of his, who spent a great deal of time outdoors, one day detected a lump under his arm. Tests confirmed the young man had melanoma.

“But by the time it was detected, it was too late for him,” Scarborough said. “He died from melanoma. And that’s why it’s so important to get skin cancer screenings. And not just once, but annually.”

On Aug. 15, Westlake Dermatology is offering free skin screenings from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. at its Marble Falls office. The screenings will be conducted by Lela Lankerani, a board certified dermatologist, or a certified physician’s assistant. The screenings are offered on a walk-in basis.

According to officials, physicians diagnose more than one million new cases of skin cancer a year in the United States. And the number of the most dangerous form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, has doubled in the past 10 years.

Scarborough pointed out that people who have had less dangerous forms of skin cancer in the past have increased chances of getting melanoma.

But annual skin screenings are just as important for those who have had the disease. One of the keys to detecting it is regular screenings. Scarborough said dermatologists and physicians keep records of the skin screenings so they can compare annual results and identify any problems or issues.

For some people — those with light eye colors, fair skin and moles — the chances of skin cancer increase even more, he added.

“There’s also the misconception that those with darker complexions can just lay out in the sun and not worry,” Scarborough said. “But they can get skin cancer as well. It’s important that everybody get their skin checked every year. That way, if something is wrong, hopefully, it can be caught early. Besides prevention, early detection is the key.”

Go to to learn more about skin cancer, prevention and detection.