Health professionals caution about the dangers of melanoma as temperatures rise in the summer

As the temperature rises and summer approaches, many of us will find ourselves spending more time outdoors. However, increased sun exposure also means a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to recognize the warning signs of this potentially deadly disease.

Skin cancer is a prevalent form of cancer in the United States, affecting approximately one in five individuals during their lifetime. This is a particularly alarming issue for residents of the Sunshine State, as Florida has the second-highest rate of Melanoma in the country. The National Institutes of Health reports that over 600 people succumb to this disease in Florida annually.

Skin cancer is increasingly being diagnosed in younger patients, according to doctors at Tampa General Hospital. Although it is commonly associated with older individuals, the disease is now affecting a growing number of young people.

According to Dr. Nishit Patel, a dermatologist with TGH and USF Health, skin cancer is becoming increasingly prevalent among young women in their 20s and 30s.

Doctors emphasize the significance of monitoring any existing spots on your skin, as the color, shape, or size of a mole can serve as an indication of potential cancer formation. It is important to note that the majority of melanomas originate from previously normal skin that gradually develops dark or irregular marks.

According to Patel, understanding the consistent aspects and patterns over the years can help identify new developments that are growing rapidly alongside the changes that have already been established.

Skin cancer is easily treatable when detected early, but it has the potential to spread to other areas of the body if left untreated. It is important to conduct regular skin exams to identify any changes and seek the expertise of a dermatologist for more comprehensive evaluations.

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MBS Staff
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