Spot Check

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Spot Check

Moles—those brown spots on your body might be trying to tell you something. It’s your job to examine them at least once a month. Most moles are non-cancerous, but it’s still good to be aware of their appearance. WebMD says, “Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people younger than age 30.”

The best way to prevent melanoma is simple: stay out of the sun. Your body needs the sun to make vitamin D, however, there’s no need to fry your skin. Wear protection like hats or cover-ups and use sunscreen if you know you’re going to be exposed for long periods of time. If you think your safe on a cloudy day think twice because you’re not. UV rays can reach you all year round no matter whether the sky is cloudy or clear.

The American Academy of Family Physicians uses the following ABCDEs to help detect cancerous moles, so grab a mirror and sing your ABCDEs:

Asymmetry – When both halves of the mole are not identical or symmetrical.

Border – The outer edge of the mole is blurred or not defined.

Color – Shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red appear.

Diameter – The size of the mole is larger than the end of a pencil eraser.

Elevation – A raised mole has a rough surface.

If any of the above signs are detected, it’s necessary to contact a dermatologist immediately. Seeing a dermatologist on a regular basis is a good idea too, because their eyes are trained to detect abnormal moles.

   

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