Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Anyone can get melanoma. When found early and treated, the cure rate is nearly 100%. Allowed to grow, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can spread quickly. When melanoma spreads, it can be deadly.Dermatologists believe that the number of deaths from melanoma would be much lower if people:
It’s important to take time to look at the moles on your skin because this is a good way to find melanoma early. When checking your skin, you should look for the ABCDEs of melanoma.
Anyone can get melanoma. It’s important to take time to look at the moles on your skin because this is a good way to find melanoma early. When checking your skin, you should look for the ABCDEs of melanoma.
|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 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.
If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs, immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
Many melanomas have these signs and symptoms, but not all. There are different types of melanoma. One type can first appear as a brown or black streak underneath a fingernail or toenail. Melanoma also can look like a bruise that just won’t heal.
Anyone can get melanoma. Most people who get it have light skin, but people who have brown and black skin also get melanoma.
Some people have a higher risk of getting melanoma. These people have the following traits:
If you have had bad sunburns or spent time tanning (sun, tanning beds, or sun lamps), you also have a higher risk of getting melanoma.
Men older than 50 are at a higher risk for developing skin cancers, including melanoma. Learning how to check your skin and getting skin exams can help detect skin cancer.
Fewer people are getting most types of cancer. Melanoma is different. More people are getting melanoma. Many are white men who are 50 years or older. More young people also are getting melanoma. Melanoma is now the most common cancer among people 25-29 years old. Even teenagers are getting melanoma.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major contributor in most cases. We get UV radiation from the sun, tanning beds, and sun lamps. Heredity also plays a role. Research shows that if a close blood relative (parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle) had melanoma, a person has a much greater risk of getting melanoma.