May is Melanoma Awareness Month

15 May

Puyallup Dermatology Clinic is proud to participate in the Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with over one million people diagnosed each year. There are two categories of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, accounts for 4% of the skin cancer cases diagnosed. Malignant melanoma can spread throughout the body if not treated quickly, potentially proving fatal.

Non-melanoma skin cancers, although not life-threatening, are still serious, typically causing local damage to the skin and surrounding tissue.

The good news is that skin cancer may be prevented, and it may almost always be cured when it is found and treated early. Prevention and early detection are key.

Prevention: 4 Easy Tips

The main cause of most skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Take care of your skin with some simple precautions.

For Melanoma Awareness Month this May, please join us in taking action to prevent skin cancer reduce the risk of UV damage – and keep up these good habits all year.

  • Be extra careful to protect your skin from direct sun during the peak hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Choose clothing that offers protection from direct sun. Cover up with long sleeves and a hat during peak sun times.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 45 or higher.
  • Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours, and after you swim or sweat.

Early Detection: Follow the ABCDEs

Take a few minutes regularly for a self-check of your skin, looking for questionable changes. If you find something out of the ordinary, it’s important to follow-up with your dermatologist.

When performing self-exams, follow these ABCDE’s for clues to identify possible melanoma:

A. Asymmetry – One half is unlike the other half

B. Border – An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border

C. Color – Is varied from one area to another, has shades of tan, brown, or black; or is sometimes white, red, or blue.

D. Diameter – Melanomas usually are greater than 6 mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they may be smaller.

E. Evolving – A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified Dermatologists if you notice any of the conditions listed above.