May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Malignant Melanoma is a cancer that usually appears on the skin but can also rarely in other locations. Since they can develop from moles, they should be checked if there is an increase in size, change in their color, fuzzy edges or if they become itchy. Pay attention to any spots, ulcers and breaks in the skin you might get. Avoid UV radiation from sun and tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
Skin Cancers are by far the most common kind of cancers in the United States. They are diagnosed more than all other cancers combined. This not only refers to melanoma, but other cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, merkel cell carcinoma, skin lymphoma and kaposi sarcoma. Prevention and early detection are the best defenses against skin cancer. Protect yourself and your family from UV light. Inspect yourself with a mirror and notice any moles, raised areas or discolorations you might have. Visit your doctor or a dermatologist with your concerns.
The ABCDE Rule is a handy guide for checking your skin.
A stands for Asymmetry: if one side of a spot doesn’t match the other.B stands for Border: if it has a fuzzy or irregular edge to it.
C stands for Color: if it is not the same color all over. It might be red, white, blue, brown or black.
D stands for Diameter: if the spot is wider than the tip of a pencil eraser, about a quarter inch across.
E stands for Evolving: if you notice it has changed in one of these ways since you last looked.
Please note that this is general awareness information and not a substitute for actual, personal advice from a medical professional.
You should visit your physician for an individual evaluation.