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Skin cancer awareness month: Melanoma Monday

NATIONAL MELANOMA MONDAY

May is designated as Skin cancer awareness month. Included in that designation is National Melanoma Monday, which is the first Monday in May.

The American Academy of Dermatology has set aside this day to raise awareness about skin cancer.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, and it is the deadliest of skin cancers.

There will be many events focused on skin health, sun safety, tanning prevention, and skin cancer screenings and resources.

All are asked to join the American Academy of Dermatology in wearing orange and encouraging others to wear orange for skin cancer awareness.

Normal moles. A normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. …

Most people have moles, and almost all moles are harmless.

But it’s important to recognize changes in a mole – such as in its size, shape, or color – that can suggest a melanoma may be developing.

It is not just the skin that is most often exposed to the sun that needs to be checked, but every place in between.

That means under your arms and between your toes.

Detailed instructions for giving yourself a thorough body check:

Strip down to your birthday suit.

Make sure you have good light, a hand mirror and a full-length mirror.

Start with your scalp … Separate your hair and look closely.

Then examine face, under nose, ears and behind ears.

Next look at arms, under arms and backs of arms.

Check your chest, then abdomen, pelvis, groin and legs.

Sit down and check feet as wells as between toes.

Then use your hand mirror with your back to the full mirror to check your back, buttock and back of legs.

Every surface of the skin should be checked, even those places where the sun doesn’t shine.

What to look for: The ABCDEs of skin cancer:

A —ASYMMETRY: One half unlike the other half.

B —BORDER: Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C —COLOR: Varied from one area to another.

D —DIAMETER: While melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm, they can be smaller.

E —EVOLVING: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest.

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