Melanoma (mole cancer) kills–way too often. It doesn’t have to.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America. Melanoma is a deadly form of it if not detected early. But your doctor can catch it!
Remember “ABCD” for possible signs of melanoma.
Assymetry: Half of the mole is different from the other.
Borders: Irregular edges.
Color: Shades of tan, brown, black, red, white or blue.
Diameter: Larger that the circumference of a pencil eraser.
Young women have more melanomas but men die more often because they ignore the risk. Get screened by your doctor. There are some good photos at the NIH Web site. (The one pictured–larger than actual size–is from the National Cancer Institute.)
How can you decrease your risk for skin cancers? Simple: Limit your sun exposure. JHMFD has a good article on this. Exactly how much sun you should get is another question. In fact, it’s quite a controversy within the medical community. I will go into that in my next blog.
Here’s a press release about skin cancer in general, in which dermatologist Gervaise L. Gerstner, M.D., says, “Lips, tops of ears, receding hairlines are all common spots for precancerous growths.” He also urges everyone to get a yearly full-body exam. (The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends neither for nor against that.)
Have you ever had a mole checked? Please share your experiences below.
Tags: skin cancer