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What is Melanoma?

Skin Cancer

What causes Melanoma?

Tanning beds are usually the first culprit named but it is based on UV light which comes from the sun.

If you burn easily make sure you cover your body in sunscreen if you are outside for long periods of time. Repeated sunburns can cause a simple mole to turn malignant plus the more moles you have the higher your chances of getting it.

Lucky for me I have only one and it is in the middle of my back so it is covered most of the time, others are not so lucky.

Things you should look for:

Like the breast check for breast cancer you should check your skin regularly looking for the following:
  • Change to an existing mole
  • New spot or patch on your skin
  • A spot that looks like a changing freckle or age spot
  • Dark streak under a fingernail or toenail
  • Band of darker skin around a fingernail or toenail
  • Slowly growing patch of thick skin that looks like a scar



You can have melanoma without feeling any pain or discomfort. For many people, the only sign is a change to their skin, scalp, or nail. Sometimes, melanoma causes one or more of the following:

Itch
Pain
Bleeding


When checking your skin, you want to make sure you check everywhere. Before getting started, it can be helpful to watch Skin self-exam: How to do.

The link at the top of this entry will take you to a web site where you can learn all about this cancer and is where I got the information I used here.  Below are a couple of other web sites that will give you more information on this cancer:

Skin Cancer Foundation
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Dermatology Association

I will be asking my doctor to take a look at a section of my torso the recently began giving me problems. Don't forget to do the skin check!

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