May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and we care about you so here are three quick reminders to keep your skin healthy and cancer-free. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is on the rise and can be deadly. Here are 3 things you can do to prevent and detect Melanoma early.
Quick reminder, what is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control.
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can then spread to other areas of the body.
Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers. But melanoma is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.
#1 KNOW THE RISKS
Many of us are training and playing outside on a regular basis and often don’t think about the risks of not wearing sunscreen everyday. Here’s why we all need to wear sunscreen everyday.
- 1 in 5 American will develop skin cancer by the age of 70*
- More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the US every hour!*
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma*
#2 KNOW THE SIGNS
When melanoma is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 99%.*
Know your ABCDE’s to help you do a self-assessment of your skin and notice any possible changes. If you check ‘yes’ to any of the below you should go see a dermatologist.
Asymmetry - one half of the spot is unlike the other half
Border - the spot has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border
Color - the spot has varying colors from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown or black, or areas of white, red, or blue.
Diameter - while melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser, when diagnosed, they can be smaller
Evolving - the spot looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color
#3 KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Here’s how to protect your skin and avoid being a melanoma statistic:
- Perform your ABCDE’s once a quarter and contact a dermatologist if you see any concerning changes.
- Get your skin checked annually by a dermatologist. Schedule the appointment around the same time every year. If you’re new to skin exams, watch our video to get an overview of what an exam entails: Your Step-by-Step Skin Exam Guide
- Avoid tanning beds - more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US are linked to indoor tanning.*
- Wear broad spectrum sunscreen EVERYDAY! Be careful there are many sunscreen myths out there, we give you the straight talk on 4 of today’s top sunscreen myths.
*Sources information from Skin Cancer Foundation www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/