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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Breedlove

Skin Exams: Skin Cancer & Melanoma Awareness

Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States.

1 out of 4 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Risk Factors Include:

  • Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun or Indoor tanning

  • History of sunburn

  • Skin type: Fair skin, blue eyes with blonde or red hair have the highest risk

  • Previous history of skin cancer- 40% of those diagnosed with skin cancer will go on to develop additional skin cancers

  • Family history of Melanoma

  • History of Atypical Moles or more than 50 moles on the body

  • History of organ transplant

  • Some medications can increase your risk of skin cancer

A clinical skin exam can lead to early diagnosis, making skin cancer easier to treat. Who needs a skin exam?

  • Frequent sun exposure through work of leisure

  • Fair skin, light colored eyes, natural blond or redhead

  • Skin that burns easily-History of sunburn

  • Age 35 and older-every 2 years

  • Personal history of skin cancer/melanoma–every 6-12 months

  • Family history of melanoma-every 12 months

  • More than 50 moles-every 12 months

Schedule right away if you have:

  • A spot on your skin that oozes, bleeds or crusts

  • A painful mole

  • A sore that doesn’t heal

  • A shiny, pink, red or pearly bump

  • A mole with irregular borders, shape, color or changes

How to prepare for your skin exam:

  • Perform a self exam and make a note of any new, changing or unusual spots

  • Remove nail polish

  • Wear hair loose

  • Remove make-up


Skin Cancer Foundation-

US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health-


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