Skin cancer is year-round threat in Valley

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 10:30am

Here in South Texas, summer seems to last year round and so does the danger of skin cancer.

Across the state, an estimated 5,000 cases of melanoma are expected to be diagnosed, and an even more staggering statistic looms for the year 2014.

"Texas has now, or is expected to be the third highest in terms of states in the U-S for the instance of melanoma, and that is a sobering statistic unfortunately."

Despite the myth that caucasians and those with lighter skin are the only ones affected by skin cancer, everyone should take precaution against the sun.

"A person of, you know, brown skin does still carry a significant risk of skin cancer depending on their exposure to ultraviolet light."

You may not be planning on using too much sunscreen once October rolls around, but here in the Valley where seasons range from hot to hotter, doctors stress the importance of using sun block even after the summer months.

"Keep in mind even though we don't have the heat, the sun exposure carries with it the ultraviolet exposure, so therefore unfortunately in our neck of the woods, skin cancer risk is year round."

Oncologists recommend using the A, B , C, D rule when checking for signs of skin cancer.

Look to see if the mole is asymmetrical in shape, size, or thickness.

Also, if the border is jagged or irregular.

Pay attention to the color if it contains various shades of tan, brown, or black.

Finally, the diameter, the larger the mole, the more dangerous the risk of melanoma.

If you find something that meets any of these symptoms, it is important to be examined by a dermatologist.

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