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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more Americans being diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. More alarming, diagnosed cases of invasive melanoma– the deadliest form of skin cancer– have increased by 27 percent in just the past 10 years.1

The risk of skin cancers, even melanoma, can be decreased dramatically by limiting exposure to harmful UV rays – avoiding tanning beds, wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours.

Beyond prevention, early detection is also incredibly important. Identifying skin cancer at an early stage significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and complete recovery.

“It’s so important to get yearly checks by your dermatologist,” said Dr. Jonathan Lee, Medical Director and surgical oncologist specializing in melanoma and complex skin cancer at Holy Name. “Treatment has advanced significantly and most cases caught early can be treated successfully.”

In addition to seeing a dermatologist, watching for changes in your skin can be key to detecting skin cancer. Pay attention to existing moles, growths or lesions, taking note of any changes or irregularities.

Be aware of the A-B-C-D-E warning signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry – if the mole or lesion has an irregular shape, meaning one half does not match the other half.
  • Border – if edges of a mole are jagged, notched, uneven or blurred
  • Color – if a mole has uneven or mottled coloring, or has multiple colors and shades of black, brown, tan, or red
  • Diameter – if the diameter of a mole is larger than a pencil eraser (6 millimeters) or if it has grown in size
  • Evolving – if a mole has changed in size, shape, color, elevation or texture.

To learn more about skin cancer prevention visit HolyName.org/CancerCare/SkinCancer

Source: Melanoma Research Alliance; In the past decade (2013 – 2023), the number of new invasive melanoma cases diagnosed annually increased by 27 percent.