Melanoma Awareness Month – How You Can Save A Life


May is Melanoma Awareness Month. It is a time to encourage people to examine their skin for possible signs of melanoma. I am writing this article in honor of my father, who lost his battle with melanoma in 2004.

Recent statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicate that more than 1 million Americans have had melanoma and that the rates of new cases are rising almost 8 percent per year. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and it is the leading cause of death from skin disease. However, if caught early, it has a cure rate of over 90 percent.

May is National Melanoma Awareness Month, and a great time to raise awareness about this deadly skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, but it’s also one of the most preventable. Skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays and indoor tanning beds. The best way to protect yourself from melanoma and other skin cancers is to practice sun safety:

-Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM.*

-Wear protective clothing, such as a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.*

-Generously apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.*

-Avoid tanning beds.**

-Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.** If you notice any changes in the size, shape or color of a mole or other pigmented area, or if you see a new pigmented area on your skin, visit your dermatologist right away. * This can be difficult for people with darker skin tones because they may not

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? In fact, about one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. It is important to understand that there are ways to prevent skin cancer and ways to check your skin for cancerous moles. During the month of May, dermatologists around the country are helping people learn more about preventing and treating skin cancer with Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.

It’s time to take control of your skin health and make sure you have the knowledge you need to prevent skin cancer or catch it at its earliest stage. Here’s what you should know: Skin cancer can affect anyone. There is no age limit when it comes to developing this illness. It’s important to protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and seeking shade when possible. Even if you’ve been cautious about protecting your skin, you’ll still want to perform regular self-exams and schedule an annual doctor’s appointment for a professional exam. After all, early detection is key when it comes to saving your life or a loved one’s life.

Melanoma knows no limits, which means that anyone can develop this condition at any time in their lives. However, some

Warning: This article contains images of partial and full thickness melanomas. You can find photos of melanomas here.

For the month of May, I want to share some information about one of the deadliest forms of cancer: diagnosed each year in more than 76,000 Americans and almost 1,000 Canadians.

When caught early, is almost 100% curable. However, once it has spread beyond the skin, it becomes very difficult to treat. In fact, a person diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 melanoma has a life expectancy of less than a year.

The best way to prevent this disease is to avoid sunburns and tanning beds and to protect your skin from UV rays by wearing sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and protective clothing when outside.

Unfortunately not everyone gets regular skin checks from their primary health care provider – or knows how to do their own self-examination. One study found that only 11% of people with melanoma had been screened for skin cancer in the past year.

This month is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, so I wanted to share how you can save your own life – or the life of someone you love – by checking your skin for suspicious spots.

Remember: Never ignore a

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, but it can be cured in most cases if detected early. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from melanoma is to examine your skin regularly for changes and see your doctor if you notice anything unusual.

Melanoma may occur on skin not ordinarily exposed to the sun, but it is primarily a disease of the skin that does receive a lot of sun exposure. The head, neck, and arms are especially vulnerable. The trunk of the body (especially the back in men) and legs are also vulnerable. These are the areas where people tend to have more moles.

An ABCDE Guide to Melanoma Detection

The key to detecting melanoma early is to know what your moles look like so you can seek medical attention if they change in any way. There are many variations in the size, shape, color and texture of normal moles (medically known as nevi), but there are warning signs that should prompt you to check with your physician right away:

Asymmetry – one half unlike the other half

Border – an irregular border; scalloped or poorly defined border

Color – varied from one area to another

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and also one of the most common. In fact, more than 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma every year. While it is one of the less common forms of cancer, those who do develop melanoma have a poor survival rate if it’s not caught early.

The disease is caused by sun exposure or tanning bed use, which damages DNA in skin cells. If you are at risk for developing melanoma, you should see a dermatologist once a year for a full-body checkup and also perform regular self-exams at home.

Dermatologists recommend that you examine your skin from head to toe once a month to look for changes or anything concerning. You can use the ABCDE Rule as a guide for what to look for during your self-examination: Asymmetry (any mole that has an irregular shape), Border (moles with uneven borders), Color (moles that have multiple colors), Diameter (moles over 5 mm in diameter) and Evolution (any mole that changes in color, size or shape).

If you notice any of these warning signs, visit your dermatologist immediately. Melanoma is most easily treated when it’s caught early

Melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults (ages 25-29) and is one of the most common cancers in adolescents and young adults (ages 15-39). About 50% of all new melanoma cases are found in people under the age of 55. Melanoma is one of the few cancers that can be prevented. It is also one of the few cancers that can be cured if detected and treated early.

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer, with an estimated 1 million new cases diagnosed annually. The 3 major types include:

Basal cell carcinoma (80% of skin cancers)

Squamous cell carcinoma (20%)

Melanoma (less than 5% but cause most skin cancer deaths)


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