Melanoma warning signs

June 14, 2013

Men and their loved ones need to know the warning signs of this potentially deadly type of skin cancer.

Think you found every hazard out here today? Think again. The spot you missed could be a killer.

The American Academy of Dermatology wants to put an end to an alarming statistic.

"In the last ten years, every year, the number of melanomas have increased by about nine percent in men over sixty-five. It's a serious epidemic."

Dr. Rutledge Forney says older Caucasian men are at a very high risk, but anyone can be affected.

"If we catch a melanoma early, 99 percent of them are curable. If we don't catch it until it's advanced, then 85% of people will die from melanoma."

To watch for signs, remember A-B-C-D-E.

"The first one is asymmetry. If you can take a lesion and cut it in half and the two sides don't match, that's a warning sign. The second is irregular borders. Two colors is one of the main things we look for. The fourth thing is the D which is diameter. We know that moles that are bigger than the size of a pencil eraser have a greater risk factor. And the last is E for evolving or changing."

Dermatologists recommend men over 40 who are Caucasian, have a history of sunburn, or who have fair skin or numerous moles get an annual skin check. Family history also raises the risk for melanoma.

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