May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Melanoma Can Strike Anyone

The list is long. Dianne Keaton, Melanie Griffith, Hugh Jackman, and Anderson Cooper are all now advocates of skin cancer protection.

There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

Although melanoma represents 5 percent of the skin cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year, it results in the most deaths. According to estimates made from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 96,480 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 7,230 people will die of the disease in 2019.

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

So, May is Melanoma awareness month, and we have a couple of suggestions.
1) If you know someone who has had skin cancer, give them a call to see how they are doing.
2) Check yourself for moles that are larger than the eraser of a pencil
3) If a mole itches, get it checked
4) Stay out of the sun from 10am-2pm
5) Cover up with SPF/UPF rated clothing

You are responsible or yourself, especially when it comes to skin cancer. Always insist on a biopsy of any abnormality. If your doctor is not willing to or says they can tell with their eyes, it is time to find a new doctor.