Did You Know?
There are many types of skin cancer with Melanoma being the deadliest form, with approximately 200,000 cases being diagnosed each year.
Melanoma occurs when the pigment producing cells that give color to the skin become cancerous. Melanoma is not just skin cancer – it can develop anywhere on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc. and can develop on parts of the body that aren’t exposed to the sun. It may appear as a dark spot, a wound that doesn’t heal, a spot that grows, changes shapes and bleeds.
There are things that can be done to prevent Melanoma that can cut the risks of you getting this deadly cancer.
Causes of Melanoma
While some melanomas start on areas in the body that aren’t exposed to sunlight, (bottom of feet, groin) it is believed that nearly 90% of melanomas are caused from sunlight and UV light. It takes only one blistering sunburn to more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life and nearly half of melanoma cases are diagnosed in patients between 55 and 74. It’s important to note that exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75%. Caucasians have a greater risk of developing skin cancer, and the risk increases for people with blond or red hair, blue or green eyes or skin that burns and freckles easily.
Types of Melanoma
There are different types of melanoma - these include:
How to Tell the Difference Between Melanoma and Other Forms of Skin Cancer
The ABCDE method may help determine if an abnormal growth may be melanoma:
A visit to the doctor is the only way to find out whether a mole or a growth is melanoma. And since skin cancer symptoms vary and not all skin cancers develop from moles it is important to discuss new or unusual skin growths with your doctor.
Melanoma Prevention Facts
Now that you’ve learned a bit about Melanoma you can take the steps necessary to reduce your risk of getting this form of skin cancer, stay healthy and continue to enjoy being outdoors!