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Dermatology Kaiser Permanente

Skin cancer right now in the united states is actually in an epidemic. The incidents of melanoma has been increasing for the past decade to the point now where there’s more than 9000 deaths from melanoma in the United States alone every year. About one in every 60 adult Americans will develop.

Melanoma within their lifetime. People who expose themselves to the sun on an intermittent basis to the point where they get sunburned a lot are the ones who are the most risk for skin cancer. But then there’s some genetic things too that play a role. So people who are fairskinned with a lot of freckling.

Blue eyes or green eyes. Blond hair, red hair. These people are at higher risk than darkerskinned individuals. If you detect them early, they are completely curable. But if you don’t detect them early, they can spread to other parts of the body.

And cause serious problems. And we don’t have great treatments for them once they do that. So it’s all about early detection and secondary prevention. And people talk about the ABCDs of melanoma.

A is for asymmetry, where one half of the mole looks different from the other half. B is for border irregularity, where the borders are kind of notched or scalloped and not smooth. C is for color, so if there’s more than one color mixed in the mole, that’s worrisome.

And d is for diameter. Anything bigger than six millimeters, which is the size of a pencil eraser, should be looked at. So by just examining the skin once a month, looking for those ABCDs on your moles,.

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