Melanoma is the most concerning type of skin cancer. Its presence is often given away by mole-like pigments of the skin that have an asymmetric shape, uneven border, odd coloring, and are rapidly changing in size. As a successful treatment highly depends on early notice of the first signs, authorities designated May as the official Melanoma Awareness Month.
Why May Was Appointed the Melanoma Awareness Month
However, the choice of period for raising awareness for this condition is far from being random. May also marks the beginning of summer vacations when families and workers are taking a few days off to enjoy quality time by the beach. However, the modern trend of tanned skin is in contradiction with a healthy lifestyle. Dermatologists are starting the summer season with indications on how to stay safe from the damaging sun exposure or sunburns. This is why May is the perfect period to start a campaign under Melanoma Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma appears in only 1% of cases with skin cancer. Despite its rare apparition, this condition is also responsible for the largest number of death related to skin cancer. Dr. Ida Orengo, a professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, stated that melanoma could be cured at a rate of 94% to 100% if the person detects its signs when it is at an early stage. However, if people don’t perform control checks, their survivability rate decreases incrementally.
“…however once it metastasizes and spreads to other areas of the body, the survival drops to 20 percent.”
People With Fair Skin and Family History with Melanoma Have Higher Chances to Develop Skin Cancer
Usually, melanoma shows mole-like signs on legs in women’s case. As far as men are concerned, their most vulnerable region is their back. However, melanoma is not uncommon in regions where UV rays can hardly reach such as the scalp, soles of the feet, or in the eye.
The riskiest cases that have higher chances to develop melanoma are people with fair skin or those who have a family history of such a type of cancer. The main indications that decrease chances of melanoma are wearing sunglasses and sunscreen. Moreover, people should also protect their skin with hats and long-sleeved shirts, especially in summer. Other modern tricks that offer a shield against skin cancer are special detergent that covers clothing in SPF and water resistant sunscreen.