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San Diego is one of the top 10 sunniest cities in the United States. Even when “June Gloom” clouds our skies, the sun is still very powerful. With that in mind, experts with UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center are helping raise awareness of the dangers of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
“Melanoma is on the rise in the United States with approximately one in every 50 Americans expected to develop it,” explained Gregory Daniels, MD, PhD, clinical coordinator of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center’s Melanoma Program. “If it’s caught in the early stages, when only the skin is affected, melanoma is more curable. Early detection is crucial because these cancers develop quickly.”
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma starts in the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. These cells become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and aggressively invade surrounding tissues. Nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal cell or squamous cell) can appear similar to melanomas and occur mostly on chronically sun-damaged skin. Unlike melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other sites in the body.
Early warning signs and risk factors
Malignant melanoma (Follow the ABCs):
So you found something. What next?
The “ugly duckling rule” identifies skin lesions that appear different or stand out from the rest of your skin lesions. If you have any of these irregularities, particularly if they are changing or stand out from the normal background or your skin, see a health care provider. If it is in the precancerous stage or during its early growth phase, a melanoma can be easily removed and completely cured.
Tips for Protecting Your Skin:
For information, please visit: http://cancer.ucsd.edu/care-centers/melanoma/Pages/default.aspx
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is home to nearly 350 medical and radiation oncologists, cancer surgeons, and researchers. It is one of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country, a rare honor distinguishing exceptionally high achievement in research, clinical care, education and community outreach and partnerships. For more information, visit cancer.ucsd.edu.
UC San Diego Health System
Launched in 1966, UC San Diego Health System is the region’s only academic health system, with a mission of providing excellent and compassionate patient care, advancing medical discoveries and educating future health care professionals. It comprises UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, and UC San Diego Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Center, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Jacobs Medical Center (slated to open in 2015) in La Jolla, as well as other primary and specialty practices of UC San Diego Medical Group. For more information, visit health.ucsd.edu.
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