Melanoma Month is about generating awareness and educating my clients about the importance of monitoring their own bodies. Everyday we wash, scrub and moisturise our bodies so really we are the first line of defence against moley melanomas.
A melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. It is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body and is most common.
Skin cancer is the world’s most common cancer, and is a relentless disease that strikes one in five people by age 70. The good news is that 99% of all cases are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early enough. But in order to stop skin cancer, early detection is key.
The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women. -NHS
This week I had a client on FaceTime who's mole was crusty, discoloured and had changed shape slightly. As a skincare professional I always keep an eye on my client's skin and moles because often they don't notice the change, and many times they are in areas that client's can't see or don't look at regularly like their back.
The Rule of Thumb about Moles:
Do a monthly spot check of your body. If you live with someone, ask them to take a picture of areas that aren't easy to see in the mirror and monitor any moles for the following changes:
Shape - the circular outline becomes an irregular shape Texture - the smoothness becomes rough and crusty Size - if the mole starts to spread or change shape Colour - the darkening of a mole can mean that it is turning cancerous and could become a melanoma.
Only 20-30% of melanomas are found in existing moles. While 70-80% arise on normal-looking skin. - Skin Cancer Foundation
I'm not trying to scare you, I'm just giving you a gentle reminder to monitor your body. If you notice any of these changes GET YOUR MOLE CHECKED ASAP! It might not be anything, but it could be the early signs of skin cancer. Over the years I have had dozens of client's who have had to have leisions removed, prevention is better than cure, please be vigilant.
To check your moles or skin spots at home, download the Skin Vision app or something similar. When you visit the website, put your phone number in and they will send you the link for the app.
Keep an eye on your moles and those on your loved ones to monitor any changes that occur and pop in to see your local GP to have them checked incase it's the beginning of a malignant melanoma. Early detection or prevention is better than cure, so be aware of moley melanomas!