'Melanoma Monday' helps raise skin cancer awareness - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

'Melanoma Monday' helps raise skin cancer awareness

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online /  Larry Meyer) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online / Larry Meyer)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Summer is almost here, time for swim suits and sunscreen.  

However, doctors said that we should actually apply that sunblock every single day.

Today is Melanoma Monday, designed by the American Academy of Dermatologists to get the word out about the most common form of cancer in Americans.

There is so much information out there today like what is the best kind of sunblock and how do you spot skin cancer.  

About one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  

The ABC's of skin cancer:

  • Asymmetry: one-half is unlike the other half.
  • Border: irregular, scalloped or poorly defined.
  • Color: varied from one area to another; shades of tan, brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
  • Diameter: usually greater than 6 millimeters, but can be smaller.
  • Evolving: a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

"Freckles, they may be getting larger.  That are bleeding, things like that.  It doesn't mean you have melanoma, but it's probably worth getting checked out and have a doctor look at that," said Dr. Gerald Beltran with Baystate Medical Center.

Beltran told Western Mass News that you should get your family or loved ones involved.

"Think about it on your back.  How often do you check your back?  Oh, I've got this little itch, I've got a bump back there.  A relative takes a look and says 'Oh, you've got some bleeding back there.'  If they're worried about it, take a look at it.  It's worth getting it checked out," Beltran noted.

Beltran said that sunblock protecting against UVA and UVB rays is critical.  He suggested anything with zinc oxide.

"You've seen the lifeguard with the white nose," Beltran said.

There are brands with zinc this season that are sheer.   No matter what you use, Beltran said use it often.

"If you go in the water, it rinses off.  Make sure you apply it and apply it liberally.  I see people apply it gently and no, no, be pretty liberal and rub it in,"  Beltran explained.

Detected early, Beltran said that melanoma can be effectively treated. 

This may be Melanoma Monday, but the American Academy of Dermatologists has also designated May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

To learn more about skin cancer and find a free skin cancer screening, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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