Monday May 5th is “Melanoma Monday”
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has designated Monday May 5th as “Melanoma Monday” to promote awareness of skin cancer. According to the AAD, “On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. In 2014, it is estimated that 9,710 deaths will be attributed to melanoma.”
Early detection is crucial for finding melanoma before it becomes untreatable. As melanoma advances it becomes less easy to treat and more deadly. A recent study shows that people with an established dermatologist are more likely to detect early stage melanoma. Education on cancer detection gained from visiting a dermatologist resulted in a larger percentage of self-detection among these patients. Melanoma in early stages can be successfully removed in a majority of cases so it is important to know the signs.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Look for any skin growth that is increasing in size and has an appearance that is pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored. A skin growth such as a mole or other brown spot that has an irregular outline, changes color, is bigger than a pencil eraser, or appears after age 21 can also be a sign of skin cancer. What to look for is sometimes described as the “ABCDEs” of skin cancer detection. A is for asymmetry, B is for border (uneven), C is for color (a variety of colors), D is for diameter, and E is for evolving. If you notice any of these signs it is important that you see a dermatologist as soon as possible. See the illustrations below to learn how to look for skin cancer.
Who Gets Melanoma?
Skin cancer can be found in people of any age and is one of the more common cancers to find in those younger than 30. The risk of being diagnosed with melanoma increases with age and the average age for it to be found is 61. Those with lighter skin are much more likely to get melanoma than those with darker skin. A major risk factor for most melanomas is exposure to UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds. This is why proper sun protection is so important. Besides damaging rays from the sun, family history could also be a contributing factor to developing melanoma.
Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening Today!
Schedule your skin cancer screening with one of the expert dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology, P.C today. We have 13 conveniently located offices in New York and New Jersey. Our offices are located in and serve the surrounding areas of: Manhattan, Fresh Meadows, Bayside, Ossining, Briarcliff, Park Slope, Commack, East Setauket, Roslyn Heights, and West Islip in New York as well as Summit and Ridgewood in New Jersey. Contact us here!