ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – According to skincancer.org one person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes. Washington University’s Siteman Cancer Center has an interactive tool to help you access your risk of developing a melanoma. This tool is most accurate for people over 40 who have never had cancer.
This test will not tell you if you have cancer. It can tell you where to focus prevention. The best way to fight cancer is to stop it before it starts.
What does melanoma skin cancer look like?
Use the “ABCDE” method to learn about skin cancer. Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not look the same as the other half. Border: The edges are not even or there is a gap in the edge of the mole. Color: The mole has colors in it like black, blue, brown, gray, pink or white. Diameter: It is most often bigger than the size of a pencil eraser (6mm), but early lesions may be smaller. Evolving: A pigmented lesion or mole that is changing.
Melanoma may also occur in the pigmented cells of the eye. Melanoma on the inner surface of the eyelid or on areas of the eye that can be seen may be diagnosed early. This often looks like brown patches. When the melanoma is deep in the eye it is often found at a later stage. In some cases a patient may have changes in vision and it is often found during an eye exam. See your doctor of dermatologist, or eye doctor if you notice any of these changes.
African-Americans dying from melanoma or skin cancer is on the rise. When diagnosed the cancer is often found in the deadliest of stages. Melanomas among people of color are most often found under nails, palms of hands, and soles of the feet.
Reporter Shawndrea Thomas tells her story of her brother’s fight with cancer tonight on FOX 2 News at 9pm. Her story shows that many myths about skin cancer in the African American community can have deadly results. Diagnosis is often delayed until the cancer is out of control. Why? Because many incorrectly people believe people of color can’t get a melanoma.