Get tested for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

The most dangerous form of skin cancer is Melanoma. As May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, doctors are warning everyone to stay vigilant in protecting yourself from this disease.

One in five people will be treated at some time in their life for Melanoma. It is the most common as well as being the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The first thing to do is to keep track of any changes in your skin.

“And that is going to include any new moles, unusual lesions or a change in a pre–existing lesion or something that begins to hurt, itch, bleed or drain anything,” said Dr. Jennifer Baldwin, Forefront Dermatology.

Your risk of catching Melanoma increases with age. It is recommended to avoid peak sun hours and tanning beds. Always cover up as much as possible; wear a hat and use sun screen with a SPF level of 30 and above.

“As long as it is diagnosed before it spreads to the lymph nodes it has a 98 percent,5–year survival rate.  However, if it does spread beyond the skin it can lead to death or significant disability, so early detection is absolutely key,” continued Dr. Baldwin.

Getting a skin cancer screening from a licensed dermatologist or primary care physician at least once a year is recommended. Portage Health in Hancock  is holding a free skin cancer screening on June 14, 9am until 12 noon.