1 per hour. That’s how many people are projected to die from melanoma in 2019. We are in a melanoma epidemic in the US, and twice as many people will die from this cancer in 2019 than from drowning. Consider yourself at higher risk in your chaise lounge in the sun than you are in the water. The good news is that due to increased awareness and screening, the death rate from melanoma is decreasing while the diagnosis rate is increasing. That means we are catching more melanoma in the earliest stages before it has a chance to spread. Here is what you need to look for, and why you need to make a yearly skin cancer screening with your Dermatologist a part of your yearly routine.
1. The new dark spot. Most melanoma develops as a new lesion on formerly normal skin, rather than coming from a preexisting mole. You need to know your moles and recognize any new residents on your skin. If a new brown or black spot appears, see your Dermatologist.
2. The ugly duckling. Most of us have a signature style to our moles. Some are all round brown and boring. Others are speckled or look like fried eggs. The mole of most concern is often the one that doesn’t fit in the with the others. It may be the darkest of the lot, or perhaps the only one with pink mixed within the brown. Know your mole motif and watch for any that fall outside your typical pattern.
3. The changer. Sometimes an old friend turns out to be a bad actor. If you notice a spot changing size, shape, color, elevation – call your Dermatologist. While there are many reasons moles can change, cancer is one that you don’t want to miss.
Schedule your yearly skin cancer screening. Wear your sunscreen. Stop tanning and frying. We have the chance to turn Melanoma into MelaNoMore.
Call us to schedule your yearly skin cancer screening: (214) 761-8524.