CDC reports melanoma incidence rate has doubled in last 30 years.
Skin cancer, the most common type of cancer, usually is the result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. There are different kinds of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma but the one with the highest mortality rate is melanoma. According to a recent report released by the CDC, the melanoma incidence rate in the U.S. has doubled in the last 30 years. This rate will continue to increase unless Americans start learning habits to reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
The CDC researchers found that 9,128 Americans died of melanoma in 2011. The majority of these deaths were among Non-Latino Caucasians and about two thirds of these were men. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 49 but after age 50 men have a higher risk. The earlier risk of skin cancer for women could be due to sun tanning and using tanning beds. For men the risk after age 50 comes from being less likely than women to use sunscreen or follow other sun safety precautions.
Detecting Melanoma Early
The good news is that most melanomas can easily be treated and cured if detected early. Just remember your ABC’s. The list below shows what to look out for when you are checking any moles or growths on your body. If it has any of these characteristics you should have it examined by a board-certified dermatologist. We recommend yearly skin cancer check-ups in addition to regular self-examinations.
- Asymmetry: Looks irregular and both sides do not look alike.
- Border: Has an uneven, irregular, notched border.
- Color: Has uneven color with different shades of light to dark brown – can be black, red, white, and blue.
- Diameter: Larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: A mole that changes over time in shape, size, or color or looks different from other growths or moles.
Click on the image below to learn how to check yourself for skin cancer:
Please call us to schedule your skin examination @ 205-870-3303.