Signs to check for Melanoma

Buddy Check 7
Buddy Check 7 - Melanoma Awareness Month
Published: May. 7, 2023 at 8:58 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - You could be living with it right now and not even know it. This month is Melanoma Awareness Month. Dermatologists are encouraging people to check up on their skin health and with sunny days ahead they are asking people to take care of their skin more than ever. Marshfield Dermatologist Erik Stratman said Melanoma is the killer for lots of young people. To understand cancer, you need to know what it looks like.

“What you want to look for is what we call the ABCDs or funny looking moles that’s asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, a diameter that’s too big or evolution,” said Stratman.

You should start seeing your doctor when you notice any changes in moles over time.

“That could be a size change, a color change if you’re ever having a mole that is particularly itching or bleeding those can be not good signs,” said Stratman.

The main cause of Melanoma is too much exposure to the sun, but that’s not the only culprit.

“Sometimes there’s a genetic link where you inherit a capability to be a little more at risk, sometimes your skin is a little more sensitive to the sun, so we see melanoma in people that tend to burn more often than tan,” said Stratman.

You don’t have to be in a doctor’s office to notice something is off.

“Many people believe that most melanomas are discovered in the doctor’s office and in fact, that’s just not true. Most melanomas are found at home,” said Stratman.

Dr. Stratman said the brand of sunscreen doesn’t matter as long as it has the right ingredients and you remember to apply it frequently.