Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the most common of all cancers among 25- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday®, a day to focus on raising awareness about this dangerous disease and other types of skin cancer.
Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet rays, from sunlight and artificial light, is one of the most significant ways to reduce your risk of developing melanoma. Although it isn’t summer yet, the effects of the sun now are similar to that of a mid-August day. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) dermatologist Dr. Deborah Scott offers some tips to help you stay safe in the sun.
As with many forms of cancer, melanoma is surrounded by a variety of myths and misperceptions regarding treatment and prevention. Dr. Jennifer Lin of the Center for Melanoma Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center sets the record straight on five of the most common myths about melanoma.
It’s important to understand that melanoma is only one type of skin cancer. Other forms of the disease are less aggressive and more common. Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer, with approximately 76,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is also the most aggressive and the most likely to spread to other parts of the body.
In addition to annual exams by a medical professional, people also should examine their own skin regularly. Learning the ABCDEs of skin cancer is important in identifying, treating, and preventing skin cancer. People can look for signs of skin cancer in moles or skin lesions using these letters, and a skin self-exam is quick, easy, and free.
There are approximately 80,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. each year, versus more than one million cases of basal and squamous cell cancer. While melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell cancers are serious conditions that still need to be treated. The incidence of these non-melanoma skin cancers is increasing, particularly among younger adults in their twenties and thirties.