Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide according to the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). Raising awareness about melanoma can save lives, and catching it early is crucial. In an effort to get the word out to a massive audience, on October 9th the MRF teamed up with the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team to hold a Melanoma Awareness Day during the big game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Throughout the game, over 300 volunteers handed out 50,000 stadium cups with the phrase, “Make a Great Catch! Spotting melanoma early can save a life!” The cups were filled with sunscreen and skin cancer prevention literature. Print ads in the game-day book, electronic ads on all the videos in the stadium, and promotions on radio enforced the importance of checking skin regularly. The Jaguars also provided Jacksonville Melanoma, an affiliate of the MRF, $10 for each ticket sold through its website, www.jacksonvillemelanoma.org.
The efforts of all involved in the melanoma awareness event proved to be gratifying almost instantaneously as one father of a 20 year-old girl sought after the MRF team at the event for advice. He wanted to know how to approach his daughter regarding seeing a dermatologist to get a suspicious mole checked. He believed the mole appeared after his daughter badly burned from using a tanning bed twice in one session, which he said has caused her to have negative skin reactions in the sun. A rep from the MRF told him, “Do whatever it takes to get your daughter to the doctor to get the spot checked out”. More on this story can be found on the MRF blog.
While you may not have watched the game, you can still make a lifesaving catch. Check your skin and the skin of the ones you love.
MRF “Check Me Out!” Slideshow. Please note there is no sound.
The ABCDE’s of Melanoma
Provided by the MRF.
A – Asymmetrical Shape
Melanoma lesions are typically irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.
B – Border
Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.
C – Color
The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.
D – Diameter
Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).
E – Evolution
The evolution of your moles(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to melanoma. Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and or size, get it checked out by a dermatologist immediately.