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Melanoma Monday: May the 4th Be With You...

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Sorry for the Star Wars pun. May 4th is actually a far more serious endeavor than we let on in the headline there...

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month across the United States. And though it’s nice that a month has been set aside for such an initiative, we all really aught to be taking a more conscious approach to making sure we’re not suffering from such disease. Early intervention is key, and is the recipe for cure. When found early, skin cancer is a very curable entity.

The American Academy of Dermatology has coined the first Monday of May as Melanoma Monday – a day set aside solely for the awareness and education of the deadliest form of skin cancer. So here we are, quickly approaching May 4th: The first Monday in May. Be sure to set aside some time and give yourself a visual exam. Check out those moles. Make sure nothing curious has developed on your skin that you haven’t noticed before.

Coinciding with Melanoma Monday, Dermatology and Skin Health will be offering skin cancer screenings, free of charge, on May 4 (and May 6th as well) from 6 to 8 p.m. at Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester and Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover. Call for your 5-minute appointment. Schedule your appointment today. Give us a call: 603-740-2818.

But really, set aside a few moments of your time at least once a week to make sure you’re giving yourself a good look over in an attempt to make sure your skin is hiding anything of interest in plain view. Scan your skin, save your life.

Here’s a quick news clip from FOX News about Melanoma Monday:

YouTube video

General Skin Cancer Facts -

  • More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed in the United States annually.
  • Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • By 2015, it is estimated that 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
  • Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years.
  • Since 2004, incidence rates of melanoma among whites have been increasing by almost 3% per year in both men and women.
  • Approximately 75 percent of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
  • On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that more than 65,000 people a year worldwide die from melanoma.

Risk Factors –

  • The major risk factor for melanoma of the skin is exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • In 2010, new research found that daily sunscreen use cut the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, in half.
  • Increasing intermittent sun exposure in childhood and during one’s lifetime is associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
  • Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women aged 45 years or younger.
  • In females 15-29 years old, the torso/trunk is the most common location for developing melanoma, which may be due to high-risk tanning behaviors.
  • People with more than 50 moles, atypical moles, light skin, freckles, or a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.

We look forward to seeing you on May 4th.

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