Melanoma – This Simple Check Could Save Your Life

Did you know that one person dies of melanoma every 52 minutes? In fact, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer! The good news is, many of these can be prevented or detected early by exercising sun safety and having regular skin screenings.

Aside from melanoma, there are many other concerns and cancers that can be detected by a dermatologist with a thorough, proper, skin cancer screening.  The best way to identify potential skin cancer is through annual full-body skin examinations with a qualified medical professional. Because it’s nearly impossible to look at your own skin in its entirety, and unfortunately skin cancers can hide from sight or be mistaken for harmless skin growths, it is important to see your dermatologist regularly. We also recommend monthly head to toe self-examinations.  If you notice any new lesions, bumps, or moles that are of concern, you should schedule a dermatology appointment immediately. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable.

The signs of melanoma to look for in moles or lesions are outlined in this simple acronym, ABCDE:

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A = Asymmetry – One half is unlike the other half.


B = Border – An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.


C = Color – Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan,  brown or black or is sometimes white, red, or blue.


D = Diameter – Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.


E = Evolving – A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

Most skin exams take about 10 minutes, this small investment could prove to be life-saving! To schedule an appointment, give our office a call 727-530-0920

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Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Dermatology.  All rights reserved.

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References:

Cancer Facts and Figures 2016. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-047079.pdf.
Accessed November  16, 2016.

What to look for: ABCDEs of melanoma. American Academy of Dermatology
https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/detect/what-to-look-for
Accessed November 16, 2016.

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