Awareness Month

Dr. Samuel Ecker

Dr. Jordan Fabrikant

Dr. Bruce Kornfeld

Courtney Fairchild PA-C

One person dies of melanoma every hour of every day. It is the 5th most diagnosed cancer in the United States, however it is also one of the most treatable when caught early. While Stage 4 melanoma has a 15% survival rate over 5 years, Stage 0-2 melanoma has a 99% survival rate over 5 years.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a skin cancer that forms from a benign cell called a melanocyte. Melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin that gives skin its color. While melanoma can be fatal, it accounts for only 1% of diagnosed skin cancers. It is most commonly found in populations with lighter skin tones, however any person can develop melanoma. Melanoma, unlike other cancers, has five stages that have varying degrees of survivability. In stages 0-2, melanoma can be excised or surgically removed. In stages 3-4, an excision is still recommended and accompanied by a lymph node biopsy to ensure the cancer has not metastasized. Additional treatment with an oncologist may be required if the melanoma has spread to other areas in the body. Overall melanoma is highly treatable if caught early due to advances in treatment, screening, and genetic testing.

Learning your ABC’s of skin cancer is key!

One of the biggest things that patients can do is monitor their own skin for changes. Melanomas can occur in preexisting moles or can be new spots that pop up. Melanoma can also be genetically linked. You are at increased risk if your parents, siblings, or children have been diagnosed with melanoma. The best way to lower your risk is by getting yearly skin checks by a dermatologist. Early detection and treatment of melanoma can save a life.

Melanoma under a microscope

Exposure to tanning beds under the age of 30 increases your chance of developing Melanoma by 75%.

Around 10% of all people with melanoma have a family history of the disease.

Bob Marley died of melanoma on his pinky toe when he was 33.

Schedule a skin check on our website or call us at 970-682-3377!

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