Protect and Check Yourself !
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. There will be over 68,000 new cases in the US this year. The major risk factors for melanoma include a family history, exposure to UV rays of the sun especially early in life, light eyes and hair, and age greater than 20.
When melanoma is caught early it is very curable.The key is to recognize it and have it removed. The typical characteristics to look for are the A, B, C, D and E’s.
A is for asymmetry. If you look at a mole and it looks asymmetrical it is time to have it checked out.
B is for border. If the border is irregular and not smooth it needs to be evaluated.
C is for color. Moles that are purple, multiple colors, or black need to be checked out.
D is for diameter. If it is greater than the size of a pencil eraser top, it needs to be checked.
E is for elevation. If the mole is raised and bumpy it is abnormal.
If you have a skin mole that is oozing, scaling and/or growing it is important to have it evaluated. Sometimes moles are in places that you might not expect. They can be in the eye, scalp, and even on the bottom of the feet. In African Americans, melanoma can be mistaken for a wart on the hands or feet. That is why we recommend that you have a dermatology exam every year. A dermatologist will recognize those moles that are suspicious and remove those that need to be evaluated.
If you have anything that concerns you please go and get checked. Our motto: When in doubt check it out!