May has been declared National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, a time to raise public awareness of the importance of prevention, early detection and treatment of the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Most of the three most common types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma - are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. These invisible rays of radiation come from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays penetrate skin cells, leaving a sunburn, a change in skin texture,
premature aging in skin, and can lead to cancer.
2017 estimates for melanoma in the United States reveal about 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed and about 9,730 people are expected to die from melanoma (American Cancer Society, 2017).
Colorado Melanoma & Skin Cancer Stats
- -Stage IV: 15-20%
- -Stage IIIC: 40%
- -Stage IIIB: 59%
- -Stage IIIA: 78%
- -Stage IIC: 53%
- -Stage IIB: 70%
- -Stage IIA: 81%
- -Stage IB: 92%
- -Stage IA: 97%
To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning.
While there is not enough research to recommend for or against routine screening, report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment is key.
Research shows that 97% of people survive at least five years when melanomas of the skin are found early.
Early diagnosis 5-year survival rates:
cases of melanoma
each year in Colorado
This is the most common form of eye cancer in adults, and accounts for 5-12% of all melanoma cases. Approximately 2,000 U.S. adults are diagnosed each year. In about half the cases, it spreads to other organs in the body.
The Truth About Tanning:
A tan does not indicate good health; it is a response to injury because skin cells signal that they have been hurt by UV rays.
Not all skin cancers look the same! A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer, whether it be from a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, or a change in a mole.
To remember the signs of melanoma, remember the A-B-C-D-Es
If you have any of these signs, talk to your doctor.