Toledo first responders “put themselves first” for a change with annual skin cancer screening

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 7:41 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Every year, the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department partners with Bravia Dermatology for free annual skin cancer screenings, available for all local first responders, because according to Dr. Matthew Molenda they’re at greater risk for getting the disease.

“We’re looking for irregular moles, lesions that are pearly, shining, bleeding, and the features of the moles are the ABCD’s of melanoma,” said Molenda.

Firefighter Sterling Rahe says he knows from personal experience just how important these screenings are.

“I had actually volunteered to be one of the first ones to do it. When I was checked they noticed a few things and they asked me if I would be interested in making an appointment which I did, and I was diagnosed with carcinoma,” said Rahe.

He says that the diagnosis was back around 2018. Since then, Rahe’s had the skin cancer removed and makes sure to get checked every year.

Now, he makes sure to continue to ingrain the importance of cancer prevention in his team, especially the newer firefighters.

“It was kind of sobering for myself,” said Rahe. “Make sure they begin that process of taking care of themselves from the beginning of their careers.”

According to experts, early detection leads to a 98% survival rate.

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