Myth Busters, Melanoma Awareness

5 Common melanoma myths

Correcting some common melanoma misunderstandings

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 03/11/16

Myth #1: I don't need to worry about all the little spots on my skin.

People often associate melanoma with large, irregular spots on the skin. Melanoma can present as a less- obvious spot that looks normal to the naked eye. When these spots are viewed through specialist melanoma imaging equipment, the symptoms are clear. If you develop moles or notice changes in your skin, get your spots checked.

Myth #2: If I have avoided the sun, I won't get skin cancer.

Although sun exposure is the primary cause of skin cancer, it's not the only one. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure from tanning beds and a family history are other causes of skin cancer. People with fair skin and freckles, and multiple or unusual moles, also have a higher risk.

Myth #3: It's "just" skin cancer; I'll be OK.

Many people believe cancer of the skin can easily be removed or cut out, however melanoma is actually the most deadly type of skin cancer and is especially serious once it spreads to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. This is why it is so important to detect it early.

Myth #4: People with dark skin don't get skin cancer.

People of all skin colours can develop skin cancer. While melanoma is more common in lighter-skinned people, the death rates are higher in darker-skinned people.

Myth #5: We used to sunbathe often, however I’ve taken good care of my skin in recent years. I won’t get skin cancer.

The truth is, the skin has a long memory. The damage from all the tans and sunburns you experience is more or less permanently recorded in it, and this damage is cumulative throughout your life. It can lead to wrinkles, spots, and other signs of early skin aging, as well as cancers. It may take years or decades for the effects to catch up with us, but when they do, our appearance suffers and skin cancers may start to show up.

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