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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


With the summer months just around the corner, it is important to protect yourself against the harmful rays of the sun. Previous posts talked about things you can do to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays. This post talks about melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole. Most melanomas have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. It may be black, abnormal or "ugly looking."

Thinking of "ABCD" can help you remember what to watch for:

Asymmetry - the shape of one half does not match the other
Border - the edges are ragged, blurred or irregular
Color - the color in uneven and may include shades of black, brown and tan
Diameter - there is a change in size, usually an increase

Melanoma can be cured if it is diagnosed and treated early. If melanoma is not removed in its early stages, cancer cells may grow downward from the skin surface and invade healthy tissue. If it spreads to other parts of the body it can be difficult to control.

For more information on melanoma, visit the comprehensive MedlinePlus melanoma page at:

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