It may not be a secret to residents San Diego that many people across the country recognize Southern California for is sunshine, especially the summer sun. Pop culture, including the music industry, has marketed the California sun with powerful effect. But, dermatologists have concerns about the powerful effect of the sun for a variety of reasons. May is designated as Melanoma-Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
People likely know that when it comes to any form of cancer, early detection is paramount. Being professionally screened for melanoma can be vital in improving the chances for successful treatment. In addition to screenings at the doctor’s office, the American Academy of Dermatology says that can be beneficial for a person to conduct regular self checks for melanoma. The AAD has a five step process using the beginning of the alphabet to help people in conducting a self check for melanoma.
To conduct a self check, a person should look for moles or other skin lesions and compare any to each of the five warning signs:
- “A” is for asymmetry, as melonamas often are oddly shaped.
- “B” is for border, as the edges of a cancerous mole frequently are irregular.
- “C” is for color, as the surface of a melanoma may have variations in color from side to side.
- “D” is for diameter; many melanomas are diagnosed after a mole or lesion has grown to about the size of a pencil eraser - - but smaller diameters may be cancerous and early detection is vital.
- “E” is for evolving, as melanomas change over time, and may have variations in appearance throughout their mass
Melanoma is known as an aggressive and serious form of cancer. Some people may find it impossible to continue to hold down any job while suffering from this form of cancer. The Social Security Administration lists many forms of cancer as potentially disabling conditions, including melanoma.
Source: Tech Times, "Melanoma Monday kicks off month-long Skin Cancer Awareness Month with events, free screenings," Michael McEnaney, May 5, 2014