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Melanoma and Early Detection

Skin cancer is often not taken as seriously as it should be. Understanding the different types of skin cancers, specifically melanoma, can not only save you from uncomfortable skin procedures, it can save your life.

At Revival Dermatology we recommend annual or bi-annual skin check appointments to address all aspects of your skin’s health. These appointments need to be part of your yearly healthcare appointment rotation to ensure regular screenings for melanoma among other common skin cancers. Understanding melanoma and its early signs is crucial for timely detection and treatment.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if not treated at an early stage. It often originates as a cancerous mole, which can either evolve from a pre-existing mole or appear suddenly as a new growth on the skin.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, only 20-30% of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70-80% arise on normal looking skin. Learn more about the different types of melanoma.

Detecting melanoma early is essential for successful treatment and improved outcomes.

Detecting Melanoma: The ABCDE Rules

When observing moles or skin lesions, it’s vital to follow the ABCDE rules to identify potential signs of melanoma:

  • A: Asymmetry – If a mole is asymmetrical in shape, it warrants closer examination.
  • B: Border – An irregular or jagged border on a mole is a red flag that should be evaluated.
  • C: Color – Variation in color within a mole, such as light and dark spots or the presence of new or unusual colors, requires attention.
  • D: Diameter – Most melanomas are 6 millimeters or larger, about the size of a pencil eraser, but can be smaller. Any abnormal growth in size should be noted.
  • E: Evolving – A changing or evolving mole demands further investigation as it could indicate melanoma.
  • F: Funny Looking – If a mole appears distinctly different from your other moles or seems ‘funny looking’, it’s advisable to seek a professional skin check.

Importance of Early Detection

Melanoma is highly treatable when detected early. Regular skin exams with our board-certified physicians at Revival Dermatology and continued education about the ABCDE rules can help in spotting suspicious changes in moles promptly. If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about a mole, schedule a skin check with us as soon as possible.

By staying vigilant and informed about melanoma and skin health, we can work with you to prioritize early detection and take proactive steps towards maintaining a healthy skin. Remember, your skin’s health is our top priority.

Stay informed, stay safe!

Book your next skin check appointment today.

Revival Dermatology is a comprehensive dermatology practice, family owned by two board certified physicians delivering a patient-centered, fully transparent approach to practicing medicine. We offer superior medical, surgical, and cosmetic procedures and treatments in a family friendly boutique-style environment. Our customized approach ensures the most effective, personalized skin care for patients of all ages.

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