Posted: May 7, 2012 5:35 PM by 4pm
Updated: May 7, 2012 5:35 PM
Source: Dr. Ann Zedlitz
May is melanoma awareness month. Today Dr. Z came on News two at 4 p.m. to talk about Melanoma Monday. Also on the show today was one of her patients, Shelby Carbo. She got melanoma removed from her leg last week.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It begins in the pigment producing cells of our skin called melanocytes. They can develop on skin without warning or from an existing mole.
One American dies from melanoma every hour. It is VERY curable with early detection, as in Shelby's case. She has Stage 0.
Cure rates approach 100% when detected early. Five year survival rates drop to 62% for regional spread (lymph nodes) and to 15% for distant spread.
· Melanoma risks:
o Red or blond hair
o Blood relative with melanoma
o >50 moles, atypical
o If you have had other skin cancers.
o Significant UV light exposure. (sunburns increase your risk)
The most common cause of melanoma is sun exposure and indoor tanning. Some forms are due to genetic predisposition and immune system deficiencies.
· Asymmetry (one half does not match the other half)
· Border irregularity (the borders are ragged, notched or blurred)
· Color (not uniform-brown and black within same mole)
· Diameter (>6mm or pencil eraser)
· Evolving(changing mole)
I also include bleeding. If anything bleeds, get it checked ASAP. I always say "get your birthday suit checked on your birthday".
Daily sunscreen cuts the rate of melanoma in half
Also, this Saturday, May 12th from 7:30-1pm is the Head to Toe event. It will take place at the Crowne Plaza. Dr. Z will be speaking. She will also be giving away prizes, 25 % off products and services.