Melanoma is the most serious kind of skin cancer, often caused by too much time in the sun. UV radiation from sun exposure can cause skin cells to become abnormal and then grow out of control, affecting the surrounding tissues. Risk for melanoma is higher for people with fair skin, many atypical moles, or a family history of the disease.
Caught early, melanoma is highly treatable. If detected when the melanoma is just in the skin, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. If not caught until it has spread to other organs like the brain or bones, however, the five-year survival rate plummets to 15 percent — so early detection is the goal.
The Care Stories Blog features the story of Mac McIntyre (see video above), who was diagnosed with melanoma several times and now undergoes regular skin checks every six months. In his interview, he extols the importance of regular body checks and visits with his diligent doctor as part of his ongoing prevention plan.
You can read more about UV and sun safety here, courtesy of the American Cancer Society.