"The Mysterious Mole" opens the dental professional's mind to evaluating and educating patients on the signs and symptoms of skin cancers. Do you know the difference between an ordinary mole and a precancerous or cancerous one? The purpose of Shannon's program is to create awareness of moles and bring them to the attention of patients, family, friends, and even oneself.
The goals and objectives of Shannon's program are to:
- Identify the difference between ordinary moles and dysplastic nevi
- Explain the clinical signs of malignant melanoma, squamous, and basal cell carcinoma
- Discuss the risk factors for melanoma and list preventive measures to reduce the chance of malignant melanoma
- Discuss oral melanoma
- Identify treatment options
- Review products available and approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation
Anyone who has a mole or knows someone with a mole would benefit from this course. There is no monetary value that can be put on saving a life with proactive screening and awareness of the disease. Shannon's interest in skin cancer began with a family member who was diagnosed with the disease, and she discusses that in her program.
Even her participants benefit from increased awareness. A recent participant e-mailed Shannon about her experience. The hygienist had spotted a mole that looked funny to her. Three doctors who examined the mole thought it was OK with no need for removal. Her instincts told her to seek an opinion from a dermatologist. This doctor removed the mole, which proved to be squamous cell carcinoma. As a result, the hygienist will be eternally grateful that she attended Shannon's program.
"The Mysterious Mole" is presented in PowerPoint with lots of open discussion and time for questions and answers. Shannon provides participants with a comprehensive handout that provides information on all of the slides. Participants also leave with sunscreen samples from skin-care companies recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Shannon graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 1994 and began presenting programs on xerostomia in 2000. She was working for the makers of Biotene when she was asked to give the program on xerostomia. She had been interested in the topic for years, having presented her table clinic in hygiene school on it.
Shannon's No. 1 passion is her family. She has a husband and two young children (ages 1 and 2), parents who have provided amazing support, and a brother who is her closest friend. Shannon is an ADHA member and the president elect for the Cleveland Dental Hygienists' Association. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to travel and meet amazing people across the country. Shannon is especially thankful for her corporate sponsors, who have been very generous in making her dream of spreading the word about skin cancers a reality.
Shannon describes herself as energetic and caring, with a "ready, aim, fire," attitude toward life. Her energy and enthusiasm help empower participants to take that same attitude into their roles in recognizing skin cancers.
For more information, contact [email protected].
Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH, is a fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and a member of ADHA and other professional associations. Ann-Marie presents continuing-education programs for hygienists and dental team members and has written numerous articles on a variety of topics. She can be reached at [email protected].Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH, is a fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and a member of ADHA and other professional associations. Ann-Marie presents continuing-education programs for hygienists and dental team members and has written numerous articles on a variety of topics. She can be reached at [email protected].