Did Skin Cancer Awareness Month (May) go by without you noticing? Good chance it did…for some reason Skin Cancer doesn’t get the publicity or notoriety of other diseases, even other forms of cancer, but it’s actually the most common form of the disease. Over 3.5 million cases in over two million Americans are diagnosed every year.
Here’s the good news…Melanoma isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s far from it as long as you stay vigilant in examining your skin, specifically changes to it. The fact is, 99% of those diagnosed with Melanoma in its early stages (before the tumor penetrates the skin) will survive. Need more evidence to check your skin daily? The survival rate plummets to 15% for those with advanced stages of the disease.
You’ve heard all the preventative messages before about applying sunscreen early and often (no less than 30 SPF) and to limit your exposure to the sun. But it’s equally important to check your skin often for any signs of early development. Look for a new growth or small “sore” that won’t heal. Monitor any new “freckles” that appear to be an odd shape and take notice if that spot begins to grow in size. If at any point a new growth starts to ooze or puss in any way, contact us immediately.
The key to prevention and treatment of Melanoma is regular self check-ups. If see something unusual, don’t panic because you’ve likely caught it early enough, but definitely contact us. We’ll give you a non-invasive full body scan and can isolate any potential trouble spots so we only have to work on that small area. Remember the ABCDEs of Melanoma.
And remember, skin cancer awareness month is 12 months of the year! Make your appointment with Dr. Germain or Holly, our Dermatology PA today 843-881-4440.