To raise awareness of melanoma and other types of skin cancer, and to encourage early detection through self-exams, the American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday®.
On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. In 2014, it is estimated that 9,710 deaths will be attributed to melanoma. Melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old. When caught early, melanoma is highly treatable and the five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. Don't forget, early detection is key and consult your dermatologist immediately if any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit the following:
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 are 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.
I've also written about how to protect your skin during the hot Houston summer's here at http://houstonskindr.com/blog/skin-care-resolutions-make-summer.
Dr. Cindy N. Berthelot, M.D. is a board certified dermatologist treating patients in the greater Houston community, including Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, Pasadena, Deer Park, Dickinson, Pearland, Alvin, Seabrook, Kemah, Webster, Galveston, Texas City, La Marque, and Santa Fe, Texas. To make an appointment with Dr. Berthelot, please contact us at (281) 480-7272.