The most lethal of all skin cancers is melanoma. Dr. Andrew encourages his Fort Lauderdale patients to practice good sun protection, regular self-checks, and have professional cancer screening at least once a year. As with other forms of skin cancer, it can be treated with a very high cure rate if it is detected in the earliest stages.
Melanoma is deadlier than other skin cancers because it can spread very quickly. Without treatment, it may affect other areas of the body, including organs and lymph nodes. A pro-active approach can save your life.
- Know the signs of melanoma
- Check your skin regularly
- Call Dr. Andrew immediately if you find a suspicious lesion
- Schedule cancer screenings annually, or more frequently if you are high-risk
Signs and symptoms
The warning signs of melanoma include:
- An area that resembles a scar, which slowly increases in size
- Dark skin around a fingernail or toenail
- A dark streak under the nail
- A dark spot, like a freckle, which changes shape or color
- Changes in existing moles
- New spot or growth on skin
Some people mistakenly believe that dark-skinned individuals cannot get skin cancer. Although the risk is higher for those with fair skin, everyone is susceptible to melanoma, regardless of skin tone or ethnicity.
When checking your skin, examine every inch of your body, using a mirror as needed. Even the scalp is susceptible to melanoma. Pay attention to any existing moles or marks on the skin, and make note of any changes in them the next time you check. An easy way to remember the warning signs is to think “ABCDE”
- Asymmetry (uneven shape)
- Border (irregular edges)
- Color (unusual or changing tones)
- Diameter (larger than a pencil eraser)
- Evolving (changes in appearance)
If you have concerns, call us at (561) 708-5004
and schedule a consultation.