Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers

Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers

Doctor examining patient

Sun & Skin Cancer Facts

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide.
  • Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure or tanning beds is the most common modifiable risk factor.
  • Protecting the skin at all ages, in particular as a child and teenager can reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging.
  • Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of race. Did you know that Bob Marley had melanoma?
  • There are certain types of skin that are at greater risk, including those with fair skin, light eyes and light or red hair.
  • Persons with multiple moles, history of sunburns, tanning beds exposure or chronic sun exposure; personal history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer, or family history of melanoma, among others, have a greater risk for skin cancer.
  • Did you know that the back is one of the most common sites for melanoma? Click here to learn more.

What can YOU do?

  • Protect yourself and your family when you’re in the sun:
  • Wear a hat, this should have an 8 cm (at least 3-inch) brim.
  • Wear sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun or in the snow. Make sure your sunglasses block both UVA and UVB light.
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 and 4pm!
  • Use clothing for sun protection, there are nice clothing with UPF+.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or excessive sweating to all sun-exposed skin. During outdoor activities, use a water-resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the sun, and protect with clothing and hats. After 6 months of age, is safe to start using sunscreens
  • Avoid sunburns, tanning and tanning beds
  • Perform your self-skin examination every month. Skin cancers can “hide” in between toes, on the scalp—anywhere! For a guide on how to perform your self-skin exam click here.
  • Have your physician check your skin every year. Get your birthday suit checked on your birthday! Make an appointment to see one of our dermatologists, who will conduct a full body skin exam
  • For those with history of, or at high risk for melanoma, total body photography and digital monitoring may be beneficial. For more information about these diagnostic aids click here

What WE are working to do about melanoma and skin cancer:

Prevent it – We are commited with education, as it is a key component for prevention. We speak and lecture in the community, at public schools and public forums, to let individuals and families know how to be safe in the sun.

Diagnose it- Early detection is key for prognosis! Our Cutaneous Oncology Program has experts in early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers with expertise in diagnostic technologies that improve early detection, such as dermoscopy, total body photography and confocal microscopy in their clinics. They are committed with education, and they frequently lecture on these topics both national and internationally to educate other physicians, health personnel and patients in the US and other countries. In addition, UM provides education and skin cancer screenings to various communities throughout the year. Here are some tips that can help.

Find a cure – UM Dermatology is on the cutting edge of melanoma and skin cancer research. Our researchers are working diligently to identify the sources of skin cancers as well as mechanisms to prevent and repair cancerous cells.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call us at (305) 243-7074.

Other Resources:

  • The American Academy of Dermatology has designated May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month, complete with educational tools and tips. The academy has implemented the SPOTme program, which has excellent tips such as how to select a sunscreen and information on skin cancer screenings throughout the country.
  • The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only international organization devoted solely to education and prevention of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foudnation has a yearly program “The Road to Healthy Skin Tour”, where dermatologists form different cities volunteer to provide free skin cancer screenings across the country. UM Dermatologist are committed and will provide free skin cancer screening in Miami next June, 2018