May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Melanoma may not be the most common form of skin cancer but it is the deadliest. In the US alone, melanoma kills approximately 10,130 people annually.
Skincancer.org educates us on what causes this type of cancer: “these cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. These tumors originate in the pigment-producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. This can be caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.”
It’s a scary thought because we ALL have been in the sun LOTS and we are all guilty of not always wearing sunscreen, hats or protective clothing.
However, on the bright side, melanoma is almost always curable! You just have to get checked regularly by your dermatology office!
It’s also helpful to learn the ABCDE’s of melanoma in this image to help you easily recognize a possible problem area:
We are hosting a FREE skin cancer screening on May 26th to help combat the melanoma spread! Call today to schedule an appointment, 828.585.5489. Do not miss out on this opportunity – it could very well save your life!