Beneath the Surface

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Melanoma Monday: Test Your Knowledge

Today is Melanoma Monday, which kicks off May being skin cancer detection and prevention month, and this year’s theme is “Looking Good in 2016” (#LookingGoodin2016).

So how much do you know about Melanoma? Test your knowledge below…

Q: Is melanoma the most common or the most deadly form of skin cancer?

A: Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. More than 10,000 people die from it in the U.S. annually. The most common forms include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Q: Can melanoma appear suddenly or does it slowly grow over time?

A: Actually, it can be either. A melanoma may appear without warning, but it can also develop from or near an existing mole on your skin. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your skin for any new changes but also look at your existing moles too.

Get any suspicious moles or skin lesions reviewed by an online dermatologist now.

Q: What do the “ABCDE” letters for melanoma (and other skin cancer) warning signs stand for?

A: The ABCDEs are:

  • “A” = Asymmetrical in shape.
  • “B” = Border is uneven.
  • “C” = Color is varied, different shades are present.
  • “D” = Diameter is larger than typical (larger than a pencil eraser).
  • “E” = Evolving, meaning any changes including becoming more raised, bleeding, itching, or crusting.

Q: How many of the “ABCDE” warning signs must be present before seeing a dermatologist?

A: You should see a dermatologist if a mole has only 1 warning sign. Early detection is crucial.

Q: Does melanoma spread to the lymph nodes?

A: It can, yes, which is what makes it such a dangerous cancer and why early detection and treatment are essential. If caught before it spreads, it is almost always curable.

Q: Who is at greater risk?

A: Anyone with 100 or more moles on their skin is at greater risk, as well as those who have had sunburns, spend time sun tanning or in tanning beds, or have a family history.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has great photo examples of the ABCDEs that are extremely helpful.

If you are concerned about a possible melanoma, please see a dermatologist right away — and if the wait time for an appointment is too long, start an online visit with one now and upload photos for an online dermatologist to review. If the doctor has any suspicions, you’ll be fast-tracked for an in-office appointment.

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