Melanoma – Know Your Skin
Skin cancer is one of the most common form of all cancers. Though accounting for less than 5% of all skin cancers, melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer responsible for the majority of skin cancer attributed deaths.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 80,000 new melanomas diagnosed in 2013 with incidence rates on the rise for the last 30 years. This year, almost 9,000 people are expected to die of melanoma. It is well established that early detection and treatment of melanoma are essential for the best outcome.
Did you know that melanoma is one of the easiest cancers to prevent? But prevention begins with knowing your risk and taking steps to reduce that risk. Here are a few tips on knowing and reducing your risk for melanoma.
Knowing your skin is one of the best way to spot danagerous changes early and get them checked. When found and treated in the early stages, melanoma is up to 95% curable. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends doing a monthly skin check using a body map or keeping a journal of moles with description and location. Step-by step instructions and a body map can be found BY CLICKING HERE.
In addition, it is important to have a thorough skin check by a dermatologist once a year or sooner if you notice any of the following:
- Remember your ABCDE’s for existing moles: if you have a mole that has changed in size or color, or has started to bleed and won’t heal; or
- A mole that is new and doesn’t look like any other moles you have (the “Ugly Duckling”)
Melanoma is one of the easiest cancers to screen for because it is on the surface of your skin. Make the commitment to check your skin today and make your appointment for your annual skin check. Go every May as a great way to recognize Melanona Awareness month.