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A Few Tips About Melanoma

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title
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Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

Alright, melanoma skin cancers. Now melanoma skin cancers are the most dangerous of the big-three skin cancers. So we have to be very, very careful with melanomas. And melanoma skin cancers again happen from a combination of your genetics, how fair you are, and how much sun exposure or tanning bed use you’ve had in your life. So please limit the sun. Don’t ever tan, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Treatment options for Melanoma

Now once you’ve been diagnosed with the melanoma, it’s really important for you to have a conversation with your local dermatologist to see what the best treatment modality is. Sometimes we simply cut them out and stitch them up. Sometimes we do things like a delayed closure excision. Sometimes we do things in the hospital where we not only cut out the lesion, but we also look at the lymph nodes that that lesion drains to, to see what the chances are of it’s spreading internally. So this is a really big topic, and you really need to have a conversation with your local dermatologist, not only about your individual lesion, but also about the screening recommendations for you for the rest of your life. We want to keep you healthy, and we need to have a partnership to do that.

What to do if you have melanoma

So there’s certain things that I always recommend if you’ve had a melanoma cancer. Number one: at least once a year get a full-body skin exam by a dermatologist. Number two: please tell all of your first-degree relatives that they need a full-body skin exam every year by a dermatologist, because you probably share a lot of the same lifestyles, and you share the genetics, so they’re at risk too. Number three: please get yearly eye exams and tell them that you’ve had a melanoma, so that they can see if there’s anything concerning in there. Number four: get yearly dental exams and please tell your dentist that you’ve had a melanoma. So if they see anything concerning, they can let you know. Number five: please tell your hairdressers that you’ve had a skin cancer, and if they see anything in your scalp that’s concerning, to please let you know. Number six: talk to your primary care physician and make sure they know you’ve had a melanoma skin cancer, so they’re aware of your entire health history, so that they can keep an eye on you. Number seven: stay out of the sun. Protect yourself. Okay? Number eight: and this is the biggest one, guys. If you don’t remember anything else from us. Please, please, please, look yourself over once a month in the mirror. Men, do it at the same time as your testicular exams. Women, do it at the same time as your breast exams. And all you’re doing is looking at your skin from head to toe making sure there’s nothing new, or changing, or growing. And if you notice anything that’s new, or changing, or growing, or perhaps simply just never heals, you got to talk to your dermatologist. Because for all things in life, the sooner we catch them, the easier they are to treat. And again, this is a partnership. So please be our partner and help us out.

Check out our resources on skin cancer

Last, we have a lot of great videos on this stuff. We have videos on prevention. We have videos on what atypical moles are. We have videos on the ABCDEs of melanoma. We have videos on melanomas. We have videos on what an excision is. We have videos on what a delayed closure excision is. We’ve got a lot of videos. So please use those as a resource, and then go into your local dermatologist fully “knowledged” up, so that you can get the treatment that you need. 

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