WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Young Melanoma

By: Susan Hendricks
By: Susan Hendricks

It's a sobering statistic: Melanoma, the type of skin cancer that can be fatal, is the most common form of cancer for young adults ages 25-29.

But knowing what to look for is critical.

Early detection and treatment saves lives.

Here with today's Health Minute is Susan Hendricks.

If she could go back in time, 25-year-old Amanda Springs would change her attitude toward the sun.

I would cut out the tanning beds and just cut out getting so burned every single summer at the beach.

Growing up in the south, amanda found having a tan was 'the norm' among her friends.

It was so important to be tan like for prom and spring break and homecoming.

It just seemed like year-round there was a reason to have a tan.

Recently, a tiny freckle on her left forearm changed in color, shape and size.

It turned out to be melanoma.

Treatment of melanoma is very successful if you cut it out with a wide area as quickly as you can but if it's already spread to the lymph nodes, then your survival rate drops dramatically.

Family history also puts you at high risk.

Knowing these signs is critical.

A means assymetry of the mole.

B means the borders are irregular.

C means the color is something other than brown.

D is the diameter of a mole that's larger than the small moles you usually see.

And e means evolving.

These cancers can come from existing moles, but also from normal skin.

Amanda just completed her surgery and has changed her habits.

You just don't ever think it will happen to you but it does.

For Today's Health Minute, I'm Susan Hendricks.

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