May marks thirteenth annual Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®


For More Information, Contact:

Michelle Schlegel (402) 421-8060;

Rustad Dermatology Partnering with Communities

to Detect Skin Cancer Early

May marks thirteenth annual Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®

LINCOLN, Neb. (April 9, 2008) – The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has designated May as Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month® with the first Monday in May designated as Melanoma Monday or “National Skin Self-Examination Day.” Melanoma Monday kicked off the AAD program designed to raise awareness about skin health and encourage Americans to begin a life long habit of regular skin self-examinations.

In recognition of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®, Rustad Dermatology is offering complimentary skin cancer detection and mole evaluation clinics to groups of twenty-five or more from hospitals, churches, schools, service clubs, government offices and companies in various cities throughout the state. Examinations evaluate exposed areas such as the face, scalp, neck, arms and legs. In 2007, these examinations produced the discovery of one melanoma per week. Lives are saved when diagnoses are made early.

More than one million Americans develop skin cancer each year and over ten thousand die. Eight thousand will die of melanoma. The only real, effective treatment of melanoma is early detection and proper initial treatment.

With a dermatological practice that has focused on skin cancer detection for over 35 years, Dr. Elliott Rustad states, “The ability to recognize skin cancer early, in a stage when it can be treated most effectively, relates to the specific training and experience of the examiner.”

During the last thirty-five years, tens of thousands of moles have been examined and hundreds of melanomas have been treated by Dr. Rustad's staff. Unquestionably, his accuracy in diagnosing rare cancers and early melanoma has improved yearly, even though he has been a Board Certified Dermatologist for nearly forty years.

Dr. Rustad brought Mohs technique of microscopically monitored cancer removal to Nebraska. This technique has produced a near 100% cure rate for basal and squamous cell carcinomas. To our knowledge, Dr. Rustad's office was the first in the nation to employ what has become to be known as fresh tissue Mohs technique.

According to the AAD:

  • More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.

  • Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common forms of skin cancer, but are easily treated if detected early.

  • Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

  • Melanoma is increasing faster in females 15-29 years old than males in the same age group. In females 15-29 years old, the torso is the most common location for developing melanoma.

  • Melanoma in individuals 10-39 years old is highly curable, if detected early, with five-year survival rates exceeding 90 percent. If not detected early, survival rates decline.

  • 1 in 58 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. Caucasians and men over 50 years of age are at a higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population.

  • It is estimated that there will be about 116,500 new cases of melanoma in 2008 – 54,020 noninvasive (in situ) and 62,480 invasive (34,950 men and 27,530 women).

  • One American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes). In 2008, 8,420 deaths will be attributed to melanoma – 5,400 men and 3,020 women.

  • The American Cancer Society recommends periodic skin examination as part of any cancer related check-up depending on a person's age and gender.

About Rustad Dermatology

Dr. Elliott Rustad is a board certified dermatologist who has practiced dermatology in Nebraska for more than thirty-five years. Rustad Dermatology has always had a special interest in the identification and

treatment of skin cancer, in the early recognition of abnormal moles that are prone to changing to melanoma, and in the recognition of early melanoma. Dr. Rustad learned the original Mohs technique of removing skin cancer with zinc chloride paste, but was probably the first anywhere to develop what has become known as fresh tissue Mohs procedure. He is one of a limited number of dermatologists who completes the plastic surgical repair of large cancers in the office on the same day as removal. This provides the best cosmetic result, the least pain, and lends itself to rapid healing and minimal infections. He is the only dermatologist in Nebraska trained in x-ray, radium and radon treatment of deep skin cancer. Tens of thousands of pre-cancerous and superficial cancerous lesions have been treated in his practice, as well as tens of thousands of cancers, with a near 100% cure rate. Dr. Rustad's offices are located in Lincoln, Grand Island, Hastings, Beatrice and Falls City.

About Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a technique used to rid the body of a tumor without destroying any more healthy surrounding tissue than necessary. Dr. Rustad works with a Board Certified pathologist, as did Dr. Mohs, to ensure the highest level of accuracy and ethics in that a second opinion is an integral part of cancer removal at Rustad Dermatology. Mohs Micrographic Surgery is now universally recognized as a precise method for treating skin cancers. In Dr. Rustad's office, Mohs is commonly performed on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic administered to the area around the tumor. Surgery usually begins early in the morning and is finished the same day. To date, only one plastic surgical repair has been completed outside of Dr. Rustad's office.

Contact Michelle Schlegel at 402-421-8060 or via email at michelle@RustadDermatology to schedule an interview with Dr. Rustad or to schedule a skin cancer clinic.