LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Cases of melanoma is on the rise, particularly in young women under 25. Indoor tanning and continued sun exposure is mostly to blame.
In this Medical Monday segment, Dr. Kay Chandler with Cornerstone Clinic for Women has details on how you can safeguard yourself. Click on the THVideo!
"Somebody who has a fair complexion or has light colored eyes, blonde or red hair are at higher risk, " says Dr. Chandler. "But that's not the only risk. There are nineteen studies that show tanning bed use is associated with a risk of melanoma."
If you are going to be out in the sun, avoid sun exposure during peak times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and incorporate the use of sunscreens containing UVA blocks.
"I read a dermatologist who said 'slip, slop, slap. Slip on a shirt, slap on some sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher and then slap on a hat."
People should routinely examine themselves for telltale signs of melanoma, such as suspicious pigmented lesions. Dr. Chandler recommends following the ABCDE's of skin cancer.
A- Asymmetry: Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
B- Border: A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
C- Color: A mole that is more than one hue is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
D- Diameter: If it is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry).
E- Elevation: Elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface.