More than three million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. And that’s good news, because the earlier skin cancer is detected, the more treatable it is, especially in its deadliest form – Melanoma. That’s why Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery joins the American Academy of Dermatology in recommending everyone over the age of 14 have annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Exams.
“Melanoma is very treatable if detected early, but the survival rate drops from 99 percent with early detection to just 15 percent when the melanoma is discovered at a more advanced stage”, said Dr. Matt Leavitt, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Dermatology.
“Very simply, Total Body Skin Cancer Exams save lives,” “By examining the entire body, a dermatologist or other trained provider, can identify potential cancer that a patient might not recognize, and in places a patient may not be able to easily see. If we can detect melanoma early, patients can dramatically increase their chances of survival.”
“Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body – scalp, nails, feet, mouth, even the eyes,” Dr. Leavitt said. “While nearly 90 percent of melanoma cases are blamed on sun exposure, a common misconception is that melanoma only occurs on skin that has had extensive sun exposure. That’s not true. An annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Exam gives patients a better chance to catch skin cancer early, and to rule out areas of concern that aren’t cancerous. The exams are easy and give patients a lot of peace-of-mind.”
Risk factors for skin cancer include a history of sun exposure (often starting in childhood), blistering sunburns at any age, spending time outdoors for work or play, tanning in tanning beds, or having light-colored hair and fair skin. People over 50 are also at a higher risk, and men are more likely than women to get the disease.
There’s also a link between melanoma and breast cancer. Studies reveal you’re at greater risk of developing one if you’ve had the other. Read more about this connection here.
To protect your skin and your health, Advanced Dermatology reminds you that the following things are very important:
- Do not use tanning beds. Indoor tanning beds are harmful to your skin and may cause cancer, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Young people using tanning beds are eight times more likely to develop melanoma.
- Moles or growths that change, itch or bleed could be early warning signs of melanoma. Get them checked as soon as possible by one of our providers.
- Use sunscreen daily. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, applied and reapplied correctly, could significantly reduce the incidence of melanoma.
- Seek shade when possible, cover up with clothing and wear sunglasses and wide-brim hats when in the sun.
Not all skin cancers are melanomas, but all should be properly evaluated and treated by one of our dermatologists or other providers trained in spotting skin cancers. Learn more about all the different signs of skin cancers, and the advanced skin cancer treatments Advanced Dermatology uses.
Help catch a killer! Schedule your annual Total-Body Skin Cancer Exam today by clicking here or call 1-866-202-7050.