Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In 2018, over 90,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and over 9,300 individuals will die from melanoma.
Fortunately, skin cancer is a highly treatable disease and early detection is key. In between seeing a dermatologist, keep an eye on any moles or new spots on your body. Some things to look for are:
- Asymmetry – Does one half of a mole look different from the other?
- Border irregularity – Is the edge (border) of the mole ragged, notched or blurred?
- Color – Does the mole have a variety of hues and colors within the same lesion?
- Diameter – What is the size of the mole? While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of pencil eraser) in diameter when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
- Evolving – Change in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting points to danger.
Skin cancer is one of most preventable types of cancer because of its strong association with exposure to ultraviolet rays, primarily from the sun. You can take proactive steps to limit your exposure to these harmful rays by minimizing time in the sun, wearing sunscreen and sun protective clothing like sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and long sleeves and pants.
ASDSA supports early adoption of these behaviors through its SUNucate model legislation that encourages statewide policy to ensure children can possess and apply sunscreen at school without a note or prescription from a physician.