Cancer Covered Blog

Melanoma Deserves Your Attention

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, so maybe it’s no coincidence that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.

Though there are exceptions, they usually form on skin that had heavy sun exposure – so unlike most cancers that hide inside the body, we can actually see these cancers with our naked eyes.

Most types of skin cancer aren’t terribly dangerous, but malignant melanoma’s the exception. Though it’s the least common type of skin cancer, it’s by far the most aggressive. Melanoma’s easy to cure – but only if we can catch it before it starts to spread. It can invade nearby tissues and spread to other body sites much earlier in its lifespan than most other cancers – while it’s still just millimeters in size. That’s what makes it so dangerous, and why early detection is so crucial.

Recognizing melanoma’s signature features are the key to early diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Just remember “ABCDE”:

Asymmetry: One part of a mole or birthmark doesn’t match the other.

Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

Color: the color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of pink, red, white or blue.

Diameter: The spot is larger than ¼ inch across – about the size of a pencil eraser.

Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color over a few weeks or months.

If you’re in doubt about a spot on your own skin, please don’t hesitate and see your primary care provider. It might save your life.

Sigurdur Bodvarsson, MD

Sigurdur enjoys people and getting to know each of his patients. He is a leader and a planner who strives for perfection in every aspect of treatment and care.

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