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Sarasota Dermatology Blog

Melanoma, Early Detection is the Key

Posted on 14. Feb, 2009 by in Melanoma

We have all heard of the skin cancer known as melanoma. What you might not know is that this serious cancer is on the rise. There is speculation that 1 in 90 individuals will develop melanoma. Nearly 75 percent (75%) of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma. Advanced melanoma spreads to internal organs and results in death. One American dies from melanoma about every hour. If detected in the early stages, melanoma usually can be treated successfully.

Early recognition of melanoma is essential as curability is directly related to the size and depth of the invasion. Melanomas can arise in areas that have not been exposed to the sun, including the soles of the feet and between the toes. Melanomas can arise in a preexisting more or in normal skin. If you notice any new moles, or changes in shape, color or size of existing moles, or if a mole begins to bleed on its own, notify your dermatologist.

When detected early, surgical removal of thin melanomas can cure the condition in most cases. Early detection is essential; there is a direct correlation between the thickness of the melanoma and survival rate. Use the “ABCD” rule to help recognize moles that may be cancerous.

A – Asymmetry.   Look for any mole that is irregular in shape. If you draw a line through a mole it should look the same on both sides.

B – Border.   A normal mole has a flat smooth border.

C – Color.   Moles should be all one color. If a mole is brown and changes to black, white, blue or pink it should be evaluated.

D – Diameter.   Any mole larger than 6mm or the size of a pencil eraser should be evaluated.

E – Elevation.   If a mole has been flat and starts to grow or elevate it should be checked by a dermatologist.

So be sure to evaluate your skin regularly for any new or changing moles. Ensure you have spots you are concerned about checked by your dermatologist. I always recommend you have an annual skin exam performed by a board certified dermatologist.

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One Response to “Melanoma, Early Detection is the Key”

  1. Carol Haring

    22. Apr, 2013

    Interested in next free skin CA screening..Hx of 50-40 yrs ago red lobster sunburns with have new areas on back and behind one knee that have caussed me a little concern. Limited income and GoBlue insurance, thus have been letting some trouble spots go. Also interested if you do offer a payment plan.

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