Melanoma Monday kicks off Skin Cancer Awareness Month - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Melanoma Monday kicks off Skin Cancer Awareness Month

What a common mole looks like. (Source: CDC) What a common mole looks like. (Source: CDC)
Melanoma that has developed on the skin. (Source: National Cancer Institute/Laurence Meyer) Melanoma that has developed on the skin. (Source: National Cancer Institute/Laurence Meyer)
“Looking Good in 2016,” PSA highlights the fact that males have a higher risk of developing melanoma. (Source: Academy of Dermatology/YouTube) “Looking Good in 2016,” PSA highlights the fact that males have a higher risk of developing melanoma. (Source: Academy of Dermatology/YouTube)

(WTVM) – Summertime means warmer weather, longer days, and more time spent outdoors. The American Academy of Dermatology wants to remind people to take care of their bodies.

The AAD has designated the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday, kicking off Skin Cancer Awareness Month. One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the AAD.

Skin cancer can affect anyone, but your chances increase with more sun exposure.

The group most at risk for both skin cancer and melanoma are white males 50 years and older, but they are definitely not the only ones.

"Melanoma can run in families so patients who have melanomas on both sides of their family, the mothers side and fathers side are at increased risk for melanomas," said Nicole Fussell, a dermatologist from Riverside Dermatology. 

According to www.cancer.org, 10,130 people are expected to die from melanoma in 2016. There are many simply ways that you can lower your risk of being affected.

"I don't tell people to not be out in the sun, just be smart when you are out. Obviously if you are out for long periods of time, reapplying your sunscreen.  There is actually nicer sun protective clothing that exists, not broad brimmed hats, they even make long sleeve shirts that have sun protective factors," said Fussell.

But simply wearing sun screen isn't always enough there are specific factors you should look for in your sun screen. 

"Finding a good quality sunscreen with titanium and zinc in it, reapplying as the day goes on and reapplying when you can," said Fussell.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer if the most common cancer in the United States. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays.

This year’s Melanoma Monday campaign is called “Looking Good in 2016,” and highlights the fact that males have a higher risk of developing melanoma. A PSA encourages everyone to check their skin for signs of cancer.

Dermatologists recommend performing regular self-exams and the CDC reminds us of the ABC’s of remembering the sign of melanoma:

  • “A” stands for asymmetrical. Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?
  • “B” stands for border. Is the border around the mole irregular or jagged?
  • “C” is for color. Is the color uneven?
  • “D” is for diameter. Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea?
  • “E” is for evolving. Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months?

Click here for answers to frequently asked melanoma questions and what to look for when selecting a sunscreen.

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