Our family has a history of skin cancer. What are some of the tips I can use to make sure I check all areas of my body?
For patients with increased risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, having a partner “check you out” (which means having a partner involved in skin self-examination) may increase the rates of self-examination and also improve early melanoma intervention. This is hugely important since the rates of melanoma, the most common fatal form of skin cancer, is increasing faster than any other potentially preventable cancer in the United States. I am going to say that one more time…The incidence of melanoma of the skin, the most commonly fatal form of skin cancer, is increasing faster than any other potential preventable cancer in the United States.
You may be wondering who is at risk for melanoma?
- If you are reading this article, you are at risk for melanoma.
- If you are not reading this article, you are at risk.
- If you have a heartbeat, you are at risk.
The stats have increased from 1 in 1500 in the 1930’s to 1 in 35 in 2015. Blond or red haired, blue eyed females seem to have the most trouble but anyone can be struck at anytime. Especially problematic can be those who used tanning beds or who have had multiple sunburns. The most important place may be a man’s back. This is a common place for melanoma and men over 50 are the fastest growing group to have the diagnosis of melanoma. Although we are speaking of melanoma, the same holds true for all types so of skin cancer. So, check each other out, have each other’s back and get better skin for a better life®.
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