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Melanoma Monday: Survey Shows Nearly Half Don't Know How To Spot Skin Cancer Signs

Posted: 05/07/2012 11:58 am

Melanoma Monday

Would you know how to spot skin cancer on your body?

A new survey from the American Academy of Dermatology finds that only about half of U.S. adults (53 percent) know how to look for skin cancer signs. The survey results are released in conjunction with Melanoma Monday, the AAD's day of awareness for early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers.

"Unlike other types of cancer that can't be seen by the naked eye, skin cancer shows obvious signs on the surface of the skin that can be easily detected by properly examining it," AAD president Dr. Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, said in a statement.

The survey also showed that 74 percent of people didn't know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and 30 percent were unaware or weren't sure about how easy it is to treat skin cancer if it's found early on.

The survey included 1,151 adults who took an online survey.

According to the AAD, 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, with one in five people in the U.S. expected to receive a skin cancer diagnosis sometime in their life.

Recently, a study from Mayo Clinic researchers showed that skin cancer is rising particularly among younger people (ages 18 to 39), and researchers said one of the main causes is tanning, TIME reported.

Not sure how to spot skin cancer, even if you had it? The Skin Cancer Foundation explains the ABCDEs -- the five things you need to look for -- to tell if a mole is suspicious: asymmetry (meaning it's not round, and both halves of the mole are not matching); border (meaning the borders of the mole are uneven); color (the mole is different colors or shades); diameter (melanomas are typically larger than 1/4 inch in diameter); and evolving (any sort of change in the mole).

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Filed by Amanda L. Chan  |