This disease is spreading quickly, but it doesn’t have to.

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What is Melanoma?

Melanoma, a common form of skin cancer, happens when cells are damaged and mutated from UV ray destruction. Melanoma spots are usually visible as brown or black spots on the skin, so if you are diligent about monitoring your skin for changes, melanoma can be caught early on and is treatable.  Have any spots checked by a dermatologist or doctor; if the cancer isn’t caught early enough, there is more time for it spread through the body, making treatment much more difficult or even impossible.

Melanoma can be sneaky…

Often spots will obviously appear on your skin, but occasionally they can develop under your nails. In rare cases, there can be a condition of subungual melanoma, which, as the CDA explains, is a form of skin cancer that develops beneath the surface of the nail and appears as a black or brown streak. As with many kinds of skin cancer, subungual melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, so immediate treatment is recommended.

Melanoma is on the rise

With the recent study published by the Mayo Clinic in January 2014 stating that the incidence of melanoma in women between the ages of 40-60 had increased 24-fold between 1970 and 2009, the need for more awareness about this disease is fast pressing. Your best bet for protection? Layer on that SPF. Lather up with a broad spectrum sunscreen (a golf ball sized amount is what you need for your entire body), reapply every four hours or immediately after sweating or swimming. No excuses!

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