TopDocs Article

A Skin Exam Can Save Your Life

More than one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. That's more than all other cancers combined. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, accounts for just 5 percent of all skin cancers. Yet it leads to 75 percent of the deaths and it is increasing faster than any other cancer in America. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be cured if detected and treated early.

To minimize your risks of skin cancer, maximize your sun protection. Apply an SPF 30 sunscreen on exposed skin, including your ears and lips. Apply it thicker and more frequently than you probably do. Utilize hats and sunglasses.

You can still get skin cancer even if you stay out of the sun. And melanoma can develop anywhere on the body. It's important to regularly examine your skin and to know the signs of skin cancer.

The following are key skin cancer warning signs:

  • Unusual marks, bumps or growths on your skin

  • A sore that has not healed in 3-4 weeks

  • A wound that continually reopens

  • A scab that still itches, hurts or bleeds after 4 weeks

  • A growth that increases in size or appears pearly or translucent

  • A mole with any of the following signs:


    border irregularity (notched edges)

    color that is uneven

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign to get all men and women screened for skin cancer by their dermatologist. Skin exams are quick, easy and noninvasive.

About The Author:

Following 25 years of successful medical sales and marketing, Michael J. Dougherty founded MJD Patient Communications in 1991. The guiding principle has been that medical marketing should be based on Patient Education. Over the last twenty years MJD Patient Communications has published over 150 procedure brochures and assisted over 3,500 physicians expand their practices through improved patient education.

MJD Patient Communications, 4915 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 306, Bethesda MD 20814