May is Melanoma Awareness Month and with the weather getting nicer, remember the sunshine can also be dangerous.
Dr. Jill Onesti is a surgical oncologist with Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center and she talked about those who are most susceptible to melanoma. She said melanoma can affect people regardless of age or race, but is more common in people with fair skin, red or blond hair, and blue eyes.
A family history of melanoma or people with a large number of moles also have increased risk. And finally, a history of repeated sun exposure, tanning beds or blistering sunburns in childhood increases the likelihood of cancer. Obviously, prevention is key.
People planning to be out in the sun should apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing. As with many cancers, catching melanoma early is important, so pay attention to your skin.
Dr. Onesti shared a way to remember what to look for if you identify a concerning spot.
Asymmetry — lesion does not look the same on both sides
Borders — irregular borders that are not smooth and round
Color — darker or multiple shades
Diameter — size greater than the eraser on a pencil
Evolution — lesion is changing in some way
Dr.. Onesti said, if you have a spot that seems suspicious, speak with your primary care provider.
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