OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - UNMC is now developing a new department of dermatology at a time when skin specialists are desperately needed nationwide. Skin cancers are the most common type of cancers, and rates of melanoma are climbing, according to new studies.
Candy Jorgenson puts sunscreen on her four year old daughter multiple times an hour when she plays outside.
“I don’t want her to have to deal with issues later on in life, so if I just start early maybe she can get in a routine and do it every day,” she said.
Candy is keenly aware of the risks of over-exposure to the sun. She’s recovering after doctors removed skin cancer from her nose a few years ago.
UNMC pathologist Dominick DiMaio examines dozens of skin samples a day. He says he sees at least one case of melanoma per day.
Cases are increasing nationwide and especially in the Midwest.
“A lot of the people who live in this community have northern European ancestors and they came to Omaha and went into farming.” DiMaio explained, “Which gets you a lot of sun exposure and predisposes you to various skin cancers.”
Soon, UNMC will open its own dermatology department the only one in the state.
Doctor Bradley Britigan, Dean of the College of Medicine at UNMC says having a local dermatology department will help attract and retain highly skilled doctors and help the medical center deliver diagnoses to patients faster.
Dr. Britigan says UNMC is currently planning and recruiting staff for the new venture. He expects the department will be up and running by 2018.