Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two million people are diagnosed annually. That means one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
However, skin cancer is also the most preventable type of cancer. Through education, early detection and protection, the number of skin cancer diagnoses in the future can diminish drastically. In fact, 99 percent of skin cancers are curable if caught in early stages.
Being able to identify the warning signs of skin cancer will help increase your chances of surviving. The American Cancer Society has created an easy way to identify your risk of developing skin cancer. It’s as easy as remembering your ABCDE’s.
Be on the lookout for moles or birthmarks that are not symmetrical. The best way to determine this is to draw an imaginary line down the middle of the mole. If one half of the mole does not match the other, it is asymmetrical and could potentially be a sign of melanoma – the deadliest type of skin cancer.
If the edges of a mole are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred, it could be an early sign of developing melanoma. Non-cancerous moles tend to have more smooth, rounded borders.
Keep an eye on the color of your moles. If a mole displays various shades of brown, black, pink, red, white, or blue, it could be a sign of melanoma.
Most non-cancerous moles are fairly small and harmless. However, if your mole is larger than six millimeters across (or the size of a pencil eraser), it is a good idea to get it checked by your dermatologist.
If your mole has changed in size, shape, or color, it could be an indication that melanoma has started to develop and you should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist immediately.
In addition to remembering your ABCDE’s, it is important to schedule annual skin cancer screenings with your dermatologist and keep your skin protected from the sun.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recently declared Friday, May 23 – the Friday before Memorial Day – as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness and prevent the development of skin cancer.
Greenville Dermatology will be hitting the streets on Don’t Fry Day to support the National Council’s efforts to raise awareness. Our street teams will be handing out free sunscreen to parents, children and passersby at local parks and high-traffic shopping areas throughout Greenville on Don’t Fry Day.
Be on the lookout for the Greenville Dermatology team at the following locations from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on National Don’t Fry Day, Friday, May 23:
· Augusta Road
· Cabella’s in Magnolia Park
· Cleveland Park
· Greenridge Shopping Center
· Falls Park
· Main Street in Downtown Greenville
If you miss us on Don’t Fry Day, call Greenville Dermatology to schedule a skin cancer screening at (864) 242-5872 or visit our retail store today to stock up on sunscreen.