Did you know that Lexington County has a significantly higher than average incidence of skin cancer compared with the rest of South Carolina? Lexington County ranks as one of the top counties in our state for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to information from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Lexington Medical Center partnered with Palmetto Dermatology to hold a free skin cancer screening on May 6th on the Lexington Medical Center campus. Nearly 80 people participated.
Although it only makes up 3% of skin cancers, melanoma is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths. Other than breast cancer, it is the most common form of cancer for women under 40. Sun protection, prompt detection and aggressive management are keys to treating melanoma. If caught early, the cure rate is nearly 100%. But if melanoma has invaded the lymph nodes, only 65% of patients are alive after 5 years. If the melanoma has metastasized or spread to other organs, only 1 in 6 patients is alive after 5 years.
According to statistics, melanoma cases have been increasing for the past 30 years, especially in young women.
Doctors encourage living healthy lifestyles and avoiding unnecessary excessive exposure to natural and artificial UV radiation. They also emphasize monthly self exams and yearly dermatology checkups. Moles with the following characteristics should prompt concern:
~Dark colors or multi-colored
~Diameter larger than a pencil eraser