On average, one person dies of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every hour. Because this disease can affect anyone, everyone should take steps to reduce their risk and catch melanoma in its earliest stages, when it’s most treatable.
New research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., emphasizes the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection. Researchers examined data collected from 118,085 individuals who received a free skin cancer screening through the AAD’s SPOTme program in 2009 and 2010, and approximately one-third of those surveyed indicated that they had recently observed a change in the size, shape or color of a mole — one of the major warning signs of melanoma.
“This result is encouraging, because it shows us that patients are keeping an eye out for suspicious spots on their skin, and that they know to see a board-certified dermatologist to evaluate those spots,” says board-certified dermatologist Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD, FAAD, a professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and one of the researchers who studied the data.