Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five people will develop skin cancer at some point in their life, with age being an indistinguishable factor. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, with the Skin Cancer Foundation predicting that it will claim over 7,100 lives in 2021 alone. It is critical to diagnose and treat melanoma as soon as possible. We encourage you to reach out to Waccamaw Dermatology, the top dermatology and skin cancer center Myrtle Beach offers, immediately if you have any concerns about your skin.
Identifying melanoma is a tricky business as it can develop anywhere on the body. Often the first signs are a change in an existing mole, the development of new pigmented skin, or an unusual-looking growth on the skin. Here is what you should look out for:
Now, just because you have a mole doesn’t mean that you have melanoma. Moles commonly appear starting in childhood until age 40, with many individuals having 10 to 40 moles each. Moles can change in appearance over time or may simply disappear. The best way to identify an unusual mole that could indicate melanoma is through the ABCDE Melanoma Guide.
“THE ABCDE’S FOR OBSERVING MOLES AND PIGMENTED LESIONS”
Asymmetry: One half of the mole should look like the other.
Borders: Normal moles are well-defined and regular. A suspicious mole may have notched or irregular borders.
Colors: The color should be uniform. Abnormal moles have shades of different colors, including tan, black, red, white or blue.
Diameter: Normal moles are usually smaller than the end of a pencil eraser or a standard hole puncher in a piece of notebook paper; roughly 6 mm or 1/4 inch.
Evolving: Be aware of existing moles and how they look over time. A change in size, color or elevation is an indication to have moles checked by a dermatologist.”
We highly suggest that you carefully read this ABCDE Melanoma Guide provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation for more information.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is vital that you get in contact with the best dermatology and skin cancer center Myrtle Beach has to offer, Waccamaw Dermatology, right away for diagnosis and treatment.
It is important to note that melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, including places that receive little to zero exposure to the sun, such as under a fingernail, on the sole of your foot, on your scalp, or your genitals.
There is no clear sign as to the cause of melanoma; therefore, it is attributed to a combination of environmental and hereditary factors. Factors that can increase your risk of melanoma include:
Fortunately, skin cancer is easy to cure if detected early, with a 99% success rate if identified in its earliest stages. To ensure that you catch melanoma early, the medical industry highly recommends an annual skin health examination. Our dermatologists will identify any changes in your skin and potential risks. Waccamaw Dermatology is the best dermatology and skin cancer center Myrtle Beach has to offer. If melanoma is found, we can take action to treat the cancer. Treatment will depend on which stage of melanoma you have reached; our dermatologists will devise a specialized plan designed to serve your needs. Give us a call today for an examination.
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