Melanoma: What doesn't bother you CAN hurt you
I am often told the following: “Well, it never bothered me.”
Unfortunately, melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, never really calls attention to itself. Melanomas almost never bleed, itch, scab or cause pain or discomfort. Because of this, they are stealthy killers. The worst scenario is a man who finally comes to the office with a mole on his back that he has been aware of for some time, but ignored- and now has finally noticed bleeding through his shirt. This is a sign of a very late stage of melanoma and usually will be indicative of metastatic and often fatal disease.
Don’t wait for this stage. Remember, melanomas are almost always silent and need to be noticed.
I have a poster in my office of a nice car with an unsightly rust spot on the hood. The poster says “you wouldn’t ignore this on your nice car would you?” It is an ad done pro bono for the American Academy of Dermatology to promote awareness of melanoma.
So we need to check our own skin and that of our family and friends. The most common feature of a melanoma skin cancer is a very dark mole that changes size, shape, color or elevation over time.
We should also remember to get an all over, total body skin examination yearly. Please call 952-374-5995 to schedule your yearly skin examination today.
Dr. Arthur Ide