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May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month

photo of doctor examining melanoma on woman

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Johns Creek Dermatology in Preventive Healthcare 16 May 2018

The most common type of cancer is skin cancer such as melanoma and other devastating skin conditions. The truth is; there are over a million people diagnosed on a yearly basis. Although it is a common known cancer, many are unaware that there are numerous ways to reduce your risks. With this in mind, May has become National Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to campaigns to inform people about the risks, causes and types of treatments for skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells. There are two types of cell growth – squamous cell and basal cell (non-melanoma skin cancers). Compared to other types of skin cancer, melanoma can be very aggressive. However, non-melanoma generally responds well with treatment and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

According to Medscape (January 3, 2018), there are about 8,500 people that are diagnosed with cancer daily. What is more, there are around 5 million people treated for skin cancer each year. As stated by Medscape, basal and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common skin cancers with melanoma taking third. In fact, melanoma only accounts for about 1%. However, melanoma causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.

Conferring to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one person dies of melanoma hourly. In fact, the estimated cases of melanoma for 2018 (in the US) are 178,560. And of those diagnosed, 91,270 cases will be invasive. In addition, the estimate deaths due to melanoma in 2018 are 9,320 (5,990 being men, 3,330 women).

Causes

As stated by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of skin cancer cases are caused by overexposure to the sun’s UV rays. Other risk factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Fair skin
  • Weakened immune system
  • Having numerous moles or odd looking moles

Prevention

You can drastically reduce your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers by protecting your skin from the sun and also avoiding tanning booths. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are various ways you can prevent cancer such as:

  • During midday, stay in the shade
  • Protect exposed skin with clothing
  • Wear large wrap-around sunglasses that block a lot of the sun’s rays
  • Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours or after swimming

When to Seek Care

There are actually are many symptoms that indicate possible skin cancer. It is recommended that you contact a specialist if you have any signs or suspicion of skin cancer. In fact, typically early diagnosis is generally very treatable. Some of the signs include:

  • Sores that do not heal
  • Peculiar new growth on the skin
  • A mole or spot that has firm red lump
  • An area or sore that becomes crusty or bleeds
  • A mole or spot that has a small lump which is smooth in texture, waxy, shiny or pale in color

Johns Creek Dermatology

For information or concern about skin cancer, schedule an appointment at Johns Creek Dermatology with Shereen Timani, M.D. for a consultation. You can also contact the staff if you have any questions.

Shereen Timani, M.D. is a renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment for numerous skin conditions. She is very experienced in Dermatopathology and is renowned for her extensive and all-encompassing professional training. In addition, her high standards for compassionate and outstanding medical care are exceptional. Some of her credentials include:

  • American Board of Dermatology – Board Certified
  • American Board of Dermatology and Pathology – Board Certified
  • Emory Johns Creek Hospital – Chair in the Dermatology Division
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown – Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology

For your convenience, Johns Creek Dermatology is in Johns Creek, Georgia. The clinic proudly serves the Duluth, Alpharetta, Cumming, Suwanee, Dawsonville and Roswell areas.

Note: This post is not intended to act as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about skin cancer, set an appointment for consultation with Shereen Timani, M.D. at Johns Creek Dermatology.

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