It's estimated that nearly one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year, and one person dies of melanoma every hour in this country."Melanoma Monday," observed on the first monday in May, gives special emphasis to the early detection and treatment."Melanoma most often occurs in the sun-exposed areas of our body. But can occur in areas that are normally covered; under the nails - and even in the back, or retina, of our eyes," said Dr. Dianne McCallister, the chief medical officer at Porter Adventist.A person's risk is higher in Colorado because of the high altitude and sunny weather.The American Academy of Dermatology has created The ABCDEs of Melanoma to help people identify potentially cancerous moles.
A stands for asymmetrical: one half of the mole does not look like the other half B is for border of the mole: irregular, scalloped or bleeding into the skin C is for color: varied from one part of the mole to another D representes diameter: the mole is larger than a pencil eraser E is for evolving: size, color and border change over time." Survival with melanoma is directly related to how deep the melanoma has become. The first step is to surgically remove the melanoma - and then treatment is based on how deep it has grown into the skin," said McCallister.Physicians from the American Academy of Dermatology are offering free skin exams in May. For a screening near you click here.