(ARA) – Every 65 minutes, someone in the United States dies of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Women aged 20 to 29 are particularly vulnerable, with melanoma ranking as the second most common form of cancer in the age group. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), adopting a comprehensive sun protection program that includes daily UV protection, monthly self-examinations and yearly screenings by a dermatologist can substantially lower skin cancer risk. “Too many lives are lost because of failure to identify skin cancer until it has progressed to a more dangerous state. Everyone, even those with no family history of skin cancer, is at risk for this disease and should visit a dermatologist for an annual screening. A trained professional can identify and treat the disease in its earliest stages, and potentially save a life,” says Alastair Carruthers, M.D., president of the ASDS and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Medical Center. Melanoma is especially hard to stop once it has spread to other parts of the body. However, it can be readily treated if detected in its earliest stages. How can you stay safe? 1. Apply a daily moisturizer with broad spectrum sun protection every day before going outside, like Olay Complete Defense SPF 30 for the face and Olay Body Age Transform Intensive UV Defense Serum for the body. 2. Examine skin at least once a month to search for any spots that seem to have changed size, color or shape. Focus on your neck, chest and torso, and use a bright light, full-length mirror, hand-mirror and blow-dryer to inspect hard-to-see areas such as the scalp and back of the neck. For more information on self-screening, visit skincancertakesfriends.org. 3. Learn your “ABCDE’s of moles and melanoma” and alert your dermatologist immediately to any of the following key warning signs: Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variability, Diameter larger than a pencil eraser and/or Evolving moles that change size, shape or color. 4. Schedule a screening appointment once a year in order to increase your chances of detecting and treating melanoma. For more information, visit skincancertakesfriends.org and asds.net.
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