Today, May 1, marks the commencement of Melanoma Awareness Month. Miami skin cancer doctor, Dr. Mariano Busso, is committed to growing the discussion and education on melanoma prevention and detection. As a skin cancer specialist, Dr. Busso helps patients with both early identification and treatment.
To kick off Melanoma Awareness Month 2017, consider the most current skin cancer facts and statistics, courtesy of skincancer.org¹:
- 20% of Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime
- In the past 30 years, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined
- Every 54 minutes, someone dies of melanoma
- In 2017, an estimated 9,730 people will die from melanoma
- Most melanoma cases are caused by sun exposure
- A person’s risk of developing melanoma doubles if he or she has experienced more than five sunburns
- Applying SPF 15 or higher every day cuts the risk of developing melanoma in half
- Every year in the United States, over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people
- The overwhelming majority (90 percent) of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by UV sun radiation
- The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, with 4 million nationwide cases diagnosed annually
- Approximately half of Americans over 65 have or have had basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once in their lifetimes
While visiting a skin cancer specialist for routine check-ups helps reduce your risk significantly, we also recommend regular self-checks from the comfort of your own home. Typically, skin cancer appears as an irregular circle or mole of 6mm or more, often dark or fluctuating in color.
For easy reference, consider the ABCDE’s of proper melanoma detection:
A: Asymmetry, where one half of the spot is visibly different from the other
B: Borders, often irregular or difficult to define
C: Color, which changes three or more times in a singular spot
D: Diameter, usually greater than the size of a pencil eraser
E: Evolving, spots that change in size, shape or color over time
If you recognize any of the tell-tale skin cancer symptoms, contact Dr. Busso’s office at 305-857-0144 immediately. All others are welcome to schedule a pre-emptive check-up, or simply learn more about Melanoma Awareness Month and risk reduction strategies by calling or booking an appointment online.