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Protect Your Skin or Melanoma May Rear Its Ugly Head

(American Cancer Society/Getty Images)

As we head outdoors and get more sunshine, remember that those sun rays can be dangerous to our skin.  Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and every time we spend too much time in the sun, we up our risk of getting it.  Identifying melanoma can be difficult to do and a good rule of thumb to go by is “A, B, C, D, E.”  A is for asymmetry, which means that a spot on the skin is not symmetrical, or in other words, if you folded the spot over itself, the sides would not match up or be even with each other.  B stands for border.  Melanoma has an irregular border.  C is for color and a melanoma has several colors, such as a mixture of tans, brown, blacks and reds.  D means diameter.  Melanoma is typically greater than the size of a pencil eraser (6 mm).  E stands for evolving.  In other words, it grows larger over time.  You’ll notice shape changes and color changes.

If you are suspicious of any skin area, it’s time to seek the advice of your doctor.  Be sure not to wait, melanoma can grow fast and, if caught early enough, can be beaten.  And don’t forget to put on that sunscreen!

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