To kick off our medical dermatology services at Amerejuve we would like to educate you on the various types of skin cancer. What a great time to do it since the month of May is skin cancer awareness month. The black ribbon is often worn or used on social media to mourn the death of a loved one, but did you know that the black ribbon is also used for melanoma and skin cancer awareness? Join us in our efforts to promote skin cancer awareness and preventative screenings by wearing a black ribbon during the month of May.
Melanoma is the less common of all the skin cancers, but it is also the most dangerous. Melanoma skin cancers have the potential to travel into a lymph node. Once melanoma cancer cells travel into a lymph node, the cancer can spread anywhere within the body, which is why it is important to detect it in the earlier stages and receive proper treatment.
You know your body better than anyone else. Here are some of the things to look for with melanoma:
- New or changing moles or growths.
- Any mole or growth changing in size, shape, or color.
- Any skin lesion that is painful, itchy, or bleeding.
In dermatology we refer to this as the ABCDEs of Melanoma:
Asymmetrical- melanomas are asymmetrical. If you were to draw a line down the middle of a melanoma it would not be equal on both sides. A normal mole will have a uniform shape, either round or oval. If you were to draw a line down the middle of a normal mole it will be equal on both sides.
Border- melanomas have irregular border or jagged edges. A normal mole will have smooth edges and an even border.
Color- melanomas have multiple colors of brown/black within the same mole. A normal mole will usually have a single/uniform color.
Diameter/Dark- Any mole that is the size of a pencil eraser or larger in diameter should be evaluated. Any mole that is darker than any of your other moles should be evaluated.
Evolving- Any mole that has evolved or changed in size, shape, color, or elevation should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Keep in mind that not all melanomas are brown/black in color. There are some melanomas that do not have these characteristics. They may be flesh colored or amelanotic which means it does not have brown pigment. There are also other types of skin cancers that are not brown in color. Other types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more about skin cancer. If youhave not had a full skin exam by a dermatologist or if you have concerns about your skin; contact us at Amerejuve 713-960-6262 to schedule an appointment.