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Texas Oncology Urges Texans to ‘Save Your Skin:' Outsmart the Sun and Prevent Skin Cancer
Date:7/1/2008

xans will develop skin cancer in his or her life.

"Prevention starts by knowing what the risk factors are and taking measures to protect against ultraviolet rays," said Texas Oncology Bhandari. "In addition, because early detection leads to higher survival rates, you should be mindful of changes in your skin and have them examined by a physician."

People with fair skin or who are outdoors frequently are at higher risk. For example, people who work outdoors are susceptible to high exposure to ultraviolet rays. Parents should also remember that even children need protection at a young age from the sun.

However, everyone is at risk of developing skin cancer and should take precautions. In fact, approximately 7 percent of all skin cancer cases occur in patients of Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, or Native American descent.

Texas Oncology physicians recommend that people at risk check their skin regularly. Often, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the ABCD method to help detect melanoma:

A = Asymmetry: One side of the mole does not match the other in size, shape, color, or thickness.
B = Border: The edge or border of the mole may be irregular.
C = Color: The color of the mole is not uniform, various shades of brown and black may be present.
D = Diameter: Skin cancer melanomas are usually larger than 6 millimeters in diameter, but they can be smaller.

Changes in the skin should be reported to your health care provider right away. You may be referred to a dermatologist, who specializes in diseases of the skin. Experts rec
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