Getting the Facts About Melanoma

Living in Tucson where there are more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it is important to understand the threat of skin cancer and take preventive measures to limit harmful sun exposure. Melanoma is just one of many different types of skin cancer, but it tends to be the most worrisome, because it is considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Below you’ll get a look at some of the key facts about melanoma so that you can effectively prevent and screen for this disease. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer While melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer, it is the most fatal. Melanoma is highly treatable in its early stages, but it will spread to other areas of the body and become much more difficult to treat. There are about 135,000 new cases of melanoma in the U.S. annually, and about 73,870 will be invasive melanoma. Not all moles are caused by melanoma The key sign of melanoma is moles that appear particularly dark, grow quickly, have uneven borders, or have a variety of colors. While most moles are not caused by melanoma, it is always a good idea to regularly check your skin for new moles and have them checked out by a dermatologist. Fair skinned individuals have the highest risk Because fair skinned people suffer more skin damage in the sun, they are at the highest risk for melanoma. However, that does not mean that individuals with darker skin are not at risk. It is a common misconception that dark skin does not need protection in the sun, but you should still use sunscreen and wear proper clothing when you are in the sun if you have darker skin. If you have a mole that you suspect could be melanoma, schedule an appointment with the surgical dermatologists of Specialists in Dermatology. You can reach our central Tucson office at (520) 618-0232.