Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs on Monday encouraged routine skin cancer screenings after disclosing he has undergone treatment for melanoma, which he said may have been accelerated by his state's altitude.
The Republican lawmaker's office said that after a recent routine checkup at his dermatologist, Lamborn had a biopsy done of "a suspicious sunspot," which was later determined to be melanoma, and was treated "without incident."
Lamborn said in a statement that he has recovered from the procedure and encourages everyone to make time for these screenings.
"I am grateful to my team of doctors, and their staff, for their professionalism and the excellent care I received during this process," Lamborn said.
Lamborn pointed to "the mountain landscape that we all know and love in Colorado, with its high altitude and plentiful sunshine," as a factor that may have accelerated damage to skin "caused by the sun."
"A skin check by a dermatologist often only takes a few minutes, but it is a critical part of identifying skin cancer early," he said. "I encourage all of my constituents, young and old, to wear sunscreen and make sure they get checked regularly by a qualified physician."
Dr. Reagan Anderson of the Colorado Dermatology Institute said in a statement, "As there are more skin cancers than all other cancers combined, it is important to seek medical attention if you notice any new or changing spots on your body."
"A few minutes each month looking at your own skin as well as at an annual check-up could be lifesaving," Anderson said.
With the announcement, Lamborn's office shared resources for reducing the risk of skin cancers, including a reminder that the sun's rays "are reflected by sand, water, snow, ice, and pavement."
Lamborn represents the 5th Congressional District, covering Colorado Springs and its suburbs. Colorado Springs climbs to an altitude of 6,035 feet. Manitou Springs, five miles to the west of Colorado Springs, is 6,320 feet. Further west, the towns of Victor and Cripple Creek are over 9,500 feet.
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