Learn the warning sign A,B,C’s for Melanoma Monday

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SARASOTA- Every hour, one person in the US dies from Melanoma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Dermatologists are urging people to use prevention methods on Melanoma Monday.

Florida has the second highest rate of melanoma cases in the nation. Dr. Jennifer Trent says in the Sunshine State everyone should be trying to prevent it.

“Everyone should wear sunscreen every single day in Florida,” Dr. Trent said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s cold out or rainy, or cloudy, or foggy the UV is still high.”

Sun burns and sun exposure are the number one risk factor for melanoma, along with fair skin, genetics, and a weak immune system.

Dr. Trent says if you’re planning to be outside plan your protection.

Dr. Trent recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50, she says that will block out close to 98% of UV rays.

“It’s sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, it’s the use of proper-UV protective sunglasses, UPF clothing, a combination of all of these can help you go outside and still have fun, but prevent melanoma and protect your skin a well.”

Early detection of melanoma is key in being able to treat it. Catching it means knowing your body. Dr. Trent recommends the warning sign A, B, C’s.

“A is for Asymmetry,” Dr. Trent said. “So, if you drew and imaginary line through the mole would they be mirror images of each other. If they’re not then the legion is Asymmetric, you want to look at borders, are the borders irregular, ill-defined jaggedly looking? That’s suspicious.”

Dr. Trent says you should perform full-body skin checks once a month.

“C is for colors, has it changed color or is it getting different colors within the legion itself,” Dr. Trent said. “D is for diameter, we don’t go a lot by that because we know now that melanomas can be as small as two millimeters.”

If you see a change, get it checked by a dermatologist.

“E, which is evolving, have you noticed a change in size, shape color,” Dr. Trent said.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at samantha.sonner@snntv.com.