May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May starts National Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month campaign. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with over one million people diagnosed each year! My second cousin Wes, who was 31 years old with three kids, died in November 2009 after a several year battle with melanoma. I'd like to share some facts, causes, and symptoms about this disease.

Fast Facts About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer and melanoma account for about 50% of all types of cancers diagnosed combined.
Skin cancer is one of the more preventable types of cancer.
More than 90% of skin cancer is causes by excessive exposure to the sun.
Each hour, 1 person dies from skin cancer.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer
A small lump (spot or mole) that is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture.
A red lump (spot or mole) that is firm
A sore or spot that bleeds or become crusty. Also look for sores that don't heal.
Rough and scaly patches on the skin.
Flat scaly areas of the skin that are red or brown.
Any new growth that is suspicious

The Causes of Skin Cancer
Unprotected exposure to the sun's UV rays are the culprit of most cases of skin cancer. Genetics also can play a role in skin cancer development.

So this month, I urge you to visit The Skin Cancer Foundation to find out more about this disease and how you can schedule a screening and ways to prevent skin cancer.

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