MELANIN & MELANOMA. Skin Cancer
Melanoma is a serious and life threatening skin cancer.
It is a dangerous misconception for people with dark skin tones to think they are not at risk for Skin cancer.
Most skin cancer are associated with UV radiation or tanning beds. Despite higher melanin level, people of color can still get sunburned.
Certainly certain skin cancers are caused by factors other than UV such as genetics or environmental influences, hence it is crucial to detect skin cancer early when it is easiest to treat and most likely be cured. It is advised that we all do a monthly skin self exam and see a dermatologist annually. Warning signs and symptoms include
- A bump, patch, sore or growth that bleeds, oozes, crusts, doesn’t heal or lasts longer than a month. This may indicate basal cell carcinoma.
- An ulcer, scaly red patch, wart-like growth or sore that sometimes crusts or bleeds could be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer can also develop in old scars or areas of previous physical trauma or inflammation.
- New or existing moles that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, more than one color, are larger than a pencil eraser or change in any way may indicate melanoma. Pay special attention to suspicious spots on the hands, soles of the feet or under the nails, which could signify Melanoma.
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