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In the News May is Melanoma Awareness Month– Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Every May, we raise awareness for those who have the most common type of skin cancer in the U.S. – Melanoma.

In 2023 alone, an estimated 97,610 new cases of melanoma in the U.S. will be diagnosed and reported to the American Cancer Society. 

So this month, we raise awareness about melanoma, specifically the dangers of unprotected UV exposure, which is the most preventable skin cancer risk factor. 


What is melanoma? 

“Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form from melanocytes (cells that color the skin). This type of cancer can occur anywhere on the skin. In men, melanoma is often found on the trunk (the area from the shoulders to the hips) or the head and neck. In women, melanoma forms most often on the arms and legs.”

Unusual moles, exposure to sunlight, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

Being White or having a fair complexion increases the risk of melanoma, but anyone can have melanoma, including people with dark skin.

How is melanoma treated?

Doctors use different types of treatment on different types of cancer. Some of these types of treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Hormone therapy

Doctors also use combination therapy. Combination therapy is when doctors use 2 or more kinds of cancer treatments. The treatments may be given at the same time, one after the other, or in different ways. Doctors often use combination therapy because it may work better to treat cancer than a single treatment alone.

(Continued in Part II…)