Check Your Skin: It’s Melanoma Monday

melanoma-monday-ice-sculpture-MBCToday is Melanoma Monday (May 4th, 2015). The American Academy of Dermatology has coined the first Monday of May as Melanoma Monday – a day set aside solely for the awareness and education of the deadliest form of skin cancer: Melanoma.

Coinciding with Melanoma Monday, our friends at Dermatology and Skin Health will be offering skin cancer screenings, free of charge, on May 4 (and May 6th as well) from 6 to 8 p.m. at Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester and Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover. Schedule your 5-minute appointment today. Give us a call: 603-740-2818.

But really, set aside a few moments of your time at least once a week to make sure you’re giving yourself a good look over in an attempt to make sure your skin is hiding anything of interest in plain view. Scan your skin, save your life.

Not sold on protecting your skin? It’s time to get serious about it…

Here are the facts on Melanoma:

  • One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 57 minutes).
  • An estimated 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the US in 2015.
  • An estimated 9,940 people will die of melanoma in 2015.
  • Melanoma accounts for less than two percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.
  • Of the seven most common cancers in the US, melanoma is the only one whose incidence is increasing. Between 2000 and 2009, incidence climbed 1.9 percent annually.
  • 1 in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime.
  • In 2009, there were approximately 876,344 men and women alive in the U.S. with a history of melanoma.
  •  Average survival with melanoma increased from 49 percent (1950 – 1954) to 91 percent today.
  • About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men, along with liver cancer and esophageal cancer.
  • Survivors of melanoma are about nine times as likely as the general population to develop a new melanoma.
  • The vast majority of mutations found in melanoma are caused by ultraviolet radiation.
  • Melanoma accounts for six percent of cancer cases in teens 15-19 years old.
  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.
  • The overall 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has spread to regional lymph nodes or other organs, is about 98 percent in the US. The survival rate falls to 63 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 16 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.
  • On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • Half of all adults aged 18-29 report at least one sunburn in the past 12 months.
  • Sustaining 5 or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime melanoma risk by 80 percent.
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

Facts sourced from www.skincancer.org. For more and to further your education of skin cancer, please visit their site – it’s an invaluable resource.

Skin cancer, including Melanoma can be prevented and/or cured if discovered early. Don’t delay. Check your skin today (whether you do it yourself or have a professional have a look). Together we can make big change.