Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer that can spread throughout your body. It sometimes looks like a normal mole, a brown spot, or a multi-colored spot or bump. Again, think of your skin as a layered cake:
Melanoma is a cancer that can start in the top layers of your skin and spread downward to enter your muscle, bone, and lymph nodes. This dangerous skin cancer can spread throughout your body to other organs. Because melanoma is so dangerous, it’s important to ask your family members if they have a history of this skin cancer, as it can run in families.
It is also related to sun exposure so a history of blistering sunburns, tanning bed use, sunburn before age 30, and history of other types of cancers can also increase your risk of melanoma.
If you have red hair, you can have a much greater risk of melanoma that someone with brown or black hair.
Take steps to prevent melanoma:
- Get an annual skin exam
- Do a monthly self exam at home to check all your moles. If there are any changes, see your dermatologist immediately
- Wear sunscreen SPF 30 or above
- Avoid the sun at the hottest times of day
- DO NOT USE TANNING BEDS OR TAN INTENTIONALLY