May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Given the prevalence, it's a good time to remind yourself to practice prevention and be aware of warning signs as early detection increases chances for lifesaving skin cancer treatment.
"With the fire department, we’re at a higher risk. It’s just an inherently dangerous job. Cancer’s always going to be a risk for us."
While it might be tempting to use the two words interchangeably, there are distinctions to be made between melanoma and skin cancer.
"It can be very hard to identify a skin cancer, because hundreds — sometimes thousands — of harmless skin lesions might look unusual to the untrained eye," says Gyorgy Paragh, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“I keep telling my kids, ‘I’m here for a reason.’”
“I owe my life to Roswell, and I give my doctors all the credit. For some reason, cancer likes my body, but I have to get through this. I don’t have any other choice."
Dr. Stenzel notes that dogs persistently sniffed, licked and nipped at melanoma lesions on their owners’ skin, even through clothing, prompting the owners to identify the cancerous sites and seek care from clinicians.
Even people who regularly check their skin as recommended often do not think of including their scalp. It is important to have someone else check the scalp thoroughly on a regular basis.
Whether your summer plans include biking, fishing, swimming or just working in the garden, you’ll need to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet rays — UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave).
During the summer and warm weather season, it’s important to remember that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Melanoma is the third most common form of skin cancer. While it is often described as the most deadly type, in 90-95% of cases, it is found early, treated quickly and cured.
“We are starting to cure melanoma, and it’s very exciting. We’re doing great things and hopefully people won’t have to die from this diagnosis anymore.”