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Cleveland dermatologist stresses risk of Melanoma as summer months approach

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - May is skin cancer awareness month, with Monday, May 2 known as Melanoma Monday, a day to raise awareness for the cancer.

The American Academy of Dermatology is hoping to educate people about the risks of Melanoma, and why it’s so important to take necessary precautions against it, especially as summer months bring more direct sunlight.

According to the AAD, “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime”. The AAD also says that many people have preconceived notions about how to prevent skin cancer with a new survey showing:

· 67% incorrectly believe that SPF 30 sunscreen offers twice as much protection as SPF 15 sunscreen

· 65% say they often forget to reapply sunscreen

· 43% are unaware that shade protects a person from UV rays

Dr. Melissa Piliang with the Cleveland Clinic offers the below advice for protecting your skin, as skin cancer can form in any climate, including Northeast Ohio.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Seek shade, especially during the afternoon.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing such as lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible.
  • Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher reapplying every two hours.

Dr. Piliang also says that anyone at home can perform a skin self-exam using the “ABCDE” acronym:

A - Asymmetry: One half of the spot is unlike the other

B - Border: The spot has an irregular border

C - Color: The spot has varying colors from one side to another with shades of tan, brown or black, or areas of white, red or blue.

D - Diameter: Melanomas are often greater than 6mm, or the size of a pencil eraser. Some can be smaller.

E - Evolving: The spot is different than others or changes size, shape or color.

For more information, visit the link here.

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