Melanoma Awareness: The Importance of Early Detection

The survival rate for melanoma depends a lot on the stage of the cancer. When caught early, melanoma is highly curable.Layout 1

While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 92 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body. And while treatments for late-stage melanoma are improving rapidly, thanks to research supported by MRA, the survival rates are still low.

That’s why early detection of melanoma is so important. Here are a few tips to help with early detection:

Know Your Skin and Examine it Regularly. Recognizing changes in the skin is the best way to detect melanoma early. Add monthly skin checks to your routine.

Look for the ABCDEs of Melanoma. Pay attention to moles or growths that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, exhibit changes in color, have a diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or have evolved in size or thickness. If you notice one or more of these signs, see your healthcare provider.

Know If You Are At Higher Risk

People with the following traits are at higher risk for developing melanoma and other skin cancers:

  • Fair skin
  • Red or blonde hair
  • Light eyes
  • More than 50 moles
  • History of sunburn or UV exposure
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of skin cancer

Getting to know your skin and recognizing any changes is the best way to help detect melanoma and other skin cancers. Learn more ways to educate yourself.

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