Melanoma Prevention and Awareness

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control. Watch the video to learn more about melanoma from Charleston Oncology’s Dr. Charles S. Holladay.

“Melanoma’s incidence is on the rise worldwide,” Dr. Holladay explains. “Melanoma, like all skin cancers, is brought about by exposure to UVB, sunlight, and tanning beds. Melanoma has to do with the intensity of the exposure, as opposed to the non-melanoma skin cancers where it has to do with lifetime exposure to UVB and sun.”

On the positive side, Dr. Holladay shares that there is a decline in adolescent melanoma. “We believe the decline in Melanoma among this younger generation is the result of increased use of sun protection.” It’s estimated that greater than five sunburns as a child increases your risk of melanoma two-fold. A good sunscreen (SPF 20 or higher), a hat, and shirts with UV protection are key to preventing skin cancer. “[Melanoma] for the most part, is an avoidable malignancy,” reassures Dr. Holladay.

Charleston Oncology provides compassionate and individualized care for cancer patients and their families with a professional and friendly staff. Recognizing that cancer, and its treatments, bring unfortunate side effects, they ensure that every patient is as comfortable as possible. If you or a loved one is facing a cancer diagnosis, call Charleston Oncology to learn more about the latest, cutting-edge treatments, which are delivered in a local setting.

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