When found and treated early, melanoma can have a cure rate of nearly 100%. If allowed to grow, melanoma can spread rapidly to other parts of the body and sometimes turn deadly.
Dermatologists believe that the number of deaths from melanoma would be much lower if people:
- Knew the warning signs of melanoma.
- Learned how to examine their skin for signs of skin cancer.
- Took the time to examine their skin.
- Had a full body exam once yearly with their dermatologist.
Skin cancer screening: If you notice a mole that differs from others or one that changes, bleeds, or itches, see a dermatologist.
Preventing skin cancer
The following can help everyone reduce their risk of getting skin cancer:
- If you tan, stop. Research shows indoor tanning increases a person's melanoma risk by 75%.
- Plan to spend time outdoors when the sun is less intense, such as before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m.
- Be sure to wear sunscreen every day. Even on cloudy, rainy and snowy days.
What to look for in a sunscreen:
- A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30
- UVA and UVB protection
Wear sunglasses that have UV protection as well. Melanoma can develop in the eyes.
How to apply sunscreen:
- Apply at least 20 minutes before you go outside.
- Put sunscreen on all skin that will not be covered by clothing.
- If you spend time outside, reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours.
Weston Waxweiler, MD
A Duluth native, Dr. Waxweiler recently joined North Atlanta Dermatology after completing his training in Colorado and Southern California.
Sponsored by: North Atlanta Dermatology | Offices in Duluth, Suwannee, Buford & Cumming
www.naderm.com | 770-814-8222