Melanoma Monday: Beware of Those Moles

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Since 1995, the American Academy of Dermatology has designated the first Monday of May as "Melanoma Monday."

Melanoma is a skin cancer that starts in a mole. One person dies of it every hour. But the good news is the disease is completely preventable if a suspicious mole is identified early.

If you discover a suspect mole, get to the doctor right away if you have a mole resembling any of the A, B, C, D, E's of skin cancer:

  • moles that are Asymmetrical,
  • Borders are uneven,
  • Color varies within the mole,
  • Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, or
  • Evolve, change in any way.

"Before they grow deeper that's the ones that are completely curable," dermatologist Dr. David Pariser said of the importance to catch them early.

"Once they grow deeper, they penetrate first into the deeper layers of the skin. Then they usually go to the lymphnodes in the area of the body where the original lesion was," he explained.

"And then after a period of time they can go to other organs," he continued. "In fact almost any body organ, and that's usually unfortunately what causes the demise of the patient."

An increasing number of people get melanoma every year, especially young white females. The cancer is caused by ultraviolet radiation, from suntanning outside, and even worse, in tanning beds.

In fact, you are 75 percent more likely to get melanoma if you use tanning beds.

Despite that warning, a new survey shows more than a third of white, teenage girls and young women used tanning beds in the last year. One-forth used one every week. And 81 percent reported tanning outside in the sun.

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Medical Reporter

Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about health and wellness. Since medicine is constantly changing, she makes sure CBN News viewers are up-to-date on what they need to know in order to live a healthy life.  Follow Lorie on Twitter @LorieCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/LorieJohnsonCBN.