May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. While it is the most common form of cancer it is also the most preventable. 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure. Reducing unprotected exposure to the sun and learning the warning signs for skin cancer can save your life.

Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. By sharing facts about the dangers of unprotected exposure and encouraging people to check their skin for warning signs, we can and will save lives.

“The general warning signs of skin cancer include:

  • Any change in size, color, shape, or texture of a mole or other skin growth
  • An open or inflamed skin wound that won’t heal

Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, may appear as:

  • A change in an existing mole
  • A small, dark, multicolored spot with irregular borders — either elevated or flat — that may bleed and form a scab
  • A cluster of shiny, firm, dark bumps
  • A mole larger than a pencil eraser

An easy way to remember the signs of melanoma is the ABCDEs of melanoma: Asymmetry, irregular Borders, changes in Color, Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, Evolution of a mole’s characteristics, be it size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching, or crusting.

“ – WebMD

Melanoma is the worst diagnosis we see here at Alaska Family Dermatology. If it’s caught early it can be surgically removed before spread to other areas of the body has occurred. If it’s caught late and has had time to metastasize, then melanoma can be life-threatening. If you are concerned about a mole or any of the warning signs above, please do not delay in getting it examined!

Make an appointment now for a skin cancer evaluation

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