May has been named Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month by the American Academy of Dermatology. As we look forward to outdoor summer activities, it’s a good time to make sure we protect ourselves from harmful exposure to the sun. Dr. Marcy Street, founder and medical director of Doctor’s Approach Dermatology in Okemos, gives some tips on skin cancer prevention, early detection and treatment of melanoma in its early stages. Prevention Dr. Street recommends applying a broad-spectrum water resistant sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30. Reapply it every couple of hours. Also wear protective clothing (many of which carry an SPF factor, too), hats and UV blocking sunglasses. Detection Do regular self-exams from head to toe and see your dermatologist annually. If you find a suspicious mole, get it checked immediately. Doctor’s Approach uses MelaFInd, a state of the art diagnostic tool, that is not invasive but can exam a mole beneath its surface. Treatment Dr. Street uses Mohs Micrographic Surgery to remove cancerous skin moles. It’s less invasive than other surgeries and has a 99 percent cure rate. Dr. Street is the only fellowship trained Mohs surgeon in Mid-Michigan. Although summer is the time when most of us focus on our skin, Dr. Street is committed to skin care all year long. Dr. Street is a board certified, Mayo Clinic trained surgeon and dermatologist who started her practice a couple of decades ago in the Lansing area. She earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a Fellowship in Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a mom to two young daughters, Chelsea and Kayla. Under the tutelage of her mentors, Dr. Street started practicing two days a week. “I was very much into being a mom,” she said, “and nurturing those two little girls.” As her daughters grew, she expanded her hours and rented an office at the MAC building in East Lansing. “When I first started out, I had two staff persons besides myself — a nurse and a receptionist who also did billing,” she recalls. “We did everything. We even cleaned our own office.” As her business grew, she rented an additional office in the basement of the building, but soon needed more room. “Each time we moved, our space tripled,” she said. Eventually, her practice settled into the spacious and lush location in Okemos where last year alone, the practice saw about 18,000 new clients. With special attention to every detail, Dr. Street designed the interior to be tranquil and soothing. A water fountain in the reception area, earth tone colored furniture, walls and flooring create a warm, welcoming and calming effect on the visitor. In addition to medical services, the practice offers complimentary skin care services and products for all skin types. The Medical Spa and Laser Center promotes healthy skin and hair care. The spa offers innovative cosmetic procedures — such as cool sculpting for body contouring and thermage among others — performed by licensed aestheticians and medical providers to enhance appearance. Customers can also purchase skin care products, featuring a line of skin care products that Dr. Street specially formulated that contain “pure, active ingredients and soothing botanical extracts.” Dr. Street is also a trailblazer in the field of dermatology. “I am one of the first dermatologists in Michigan to hire a physician’s assistant,” she said. Her practice uses laser light, a new and novel way to detect skin cancer early. “What we have no one else in the area offers,” she said. She’s now a mentor to her own medical team and beyond. A regular contributor to the “Dr. Oz” television show, Dr. Street travels widely to give presentations to her colleagues around the world. “Speak what you want to attract,” she said. Her life is a great example of that philosophy. As a child growing up in Chicago, “I came to Michigan for multiple summers to attend camp,” she said. “That’s when my love for Michigan began to develop. I met a good friend who lived here, and I knew that one day I would live here, too.” Judging by her long career in mid-Michigan and her plans for continuing to offer the best and most up-to-date skin care services she can, she’s here to stay. Doctor’s Approach 2685 Jolly Road, Okemos www.drsapproach.com (517) 993-5900
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.