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Melanoma Myths: Just The Facts (Part 2)

In recognition of ‘Skin Cancer Awareness Month’, we’re publishing a blog post series focusing on melanoma myths. Part 2 of this series dispels three additional popular myths surrounding melanoma.

Myth #5. “Melanomas Are Always a Dark Color.”
Fact: You might say that melanoma is color blind. These cancers can range in color from black, bluish-black, gray, and varying shades of brown to flesh-tone, pink, red, and purple.

Any spot on your skin that is new, asymmetrical or has an irregular border should be checked by a skin doctor regardless of the color.

Myth #6: “You’ll Only Develop Melanoma If You’ve Had Years of Sun Exposure.”
Fact: One of the highest risk factors for melanoma is multiple sunburns. And it doesn’t take years to rack up a number of those painful injuries to your skin.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:
• One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chance of developing melanoma later in life.
• Five or more sunburns more than doubles your risk of developing melanoma.
• Those who work or play sports outdoors have a greater risk of frequent sunburns, which can result in skin cancer.

Myth #7: “If I Avoid the Sun, I Won’t Get Skin Cancer.”
Fact: While it’s true that exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is the primary cause of skin cancer, it’s not the sole cause.

Others include:
•. Ultraviolet radiation exposure from tanning beds and occupational equipment.
•. Family history
•. Those with fair skin and freckles and/or multiple or unusual moles.

Key Takeaway: See Your Skin Care Professional Annually
Don’t let these myths and misinformation keep you from having an annual skin exam or seeing a skin care professional if you see a new spot on your skin or one that has changed.

“Remember, early detection and treatment are the keys to curing melanoma or any other type of skin cancer,” said Dr. Price. “See your skin care professional for an annual skin exam to ensure that you are cancer-free.”

If you have questions about your skin health or would like to schedule your annual skin screen exam, please call at: 601.992.3996.

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