As we head into summer, May marks Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Skin cancer is considered the most common form of cancer in our nation. The ultraviolet rays from the sun are the leading cause. Healthcare professionals say that ultraviolet rays can also be found in tanning booths and sunlamps.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps.

The most serious form is called melanoma. But the outcome can be promising for patients when detected and treated early.

The number of skin cancer cases is climbing each year. So, it’s extremely important to check our skin from “head to toe regularly.” By doing so, if any skin areas change, we’ll be alerted to get it checked with a healthcare provider.

Many people often wonder what malignant melanoma looks like.

Generally, it’s when an existing mole or new growth on your skin changes in size, color or even shape.

One of the best guidelines is following the “ABCD” skin cancer warning signs.

These easy-to-follow rules include:

A = Asymmetry: when the growth on the skin has unmatched halves

B= Border: blurred and not clearly defined edges

C= Color: a blotchy appearance with colors ranging from brown, black, tan, red, white or even blue

D= Diameter: a skin growth larger than 6 millimeters or concerning size increase

If any of the above rules are present, seeking the advice of a healthcare professional is highly advised. And remember, a regular self-skin check is never a substitute for it being done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Let’s raise awareness this month and keep one step ahead in our skin care health.


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