SKIN CANCER SCREENING
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be lethal if diagnosed late. There are several factors that contribute to the development of melanoma — sun exposure, age, the presence of more than 50 moles, a family history of melanoma are some common factors.
We can use the acronym HARMM to predict a patient’s risk of developing melanoma: History of previous melanoma, Age 50 and above, Regular dermatologist absent, Mole changing and Male Gender. Patients with 4 or 5 of these risk factors were 4.4 times more likely than those with 0 or 1 factors to develop melanoma.
While the incidence of melanoma is increasing worldwide even in Asia, the melanoma-specific survival rates have remained relatively stable. In fact, early stage melanoma can be treated easily with surgery. If you are at risk of skin cancers, you should take precaution to detect it earlier rather than later. Skin Self-Examination and dermatologist-directed full skin examinations should be performed. Tools such as Mole Mapping can help in the surveillance of malignant melanoma or skin cancer.