Skin Cancer Awareness
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is the third most prevalent cancer acquired in women under the age of 49 years, behind thyroid and breast cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation,melanomas are the most common cancer acquired for men ages 49 years and under. It is never too early to begin mindful skin cancer prevention practices. The American Cancer Society recommends seeking shade as much as possible, avoiding indoor tanning devices and wearing protective clothing layers for maximum UV ray protection. Use of sunscreen is also important, but not nearly as protective as clothing. For more information check out American Cancer Society- Be Safe in the Sun.
Early detection of skin cancer is key. Early signs of melanoma can be spotted using the ABCDE Rule when examining your skin:
- Asymmetry: Compare both sides of the mole and see if they match.
- Border irregularity: Pay attention to ragged, notched or blurred edges on your mole.
- Color: Many different shades from tan, black, brown and even spots of red, white and blue may be present within the mole.
- Diameter: Look for moles larger than 6 millimeters. However, sometimes they can be smaller.
- Evolving: Notice whether a mole looks significantly different from the other moles. Also notice if the mole has had changes in size, shape or color over time.
The Georgia State University Student Health Clinic is equipt to assist students in the care of their skin. Our office provides physicals for school programs, sports and study abroad needs. Board certified providers are able to refer students potentially at risk for skin cancer to specialists in the area to provide further examination or medical treatment.
Stay sun-conscious this Summer, Panthers!