Melanoma: Catching it early can mean the difference between life and death

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A stage 3 melanoma diagnosis came soon after Maureen Meehan noticed that a mole on her arm had changed shape, felt different and had become itchy. Photo: Pexels
(Karen Hawthorne/ Healthing) — Is checking your skin for new moles, or moles that have changed in size, shape or colour something you do regularly? Maybe not. But what if it could save your life?
“Once every one to three months, when you step out of the shower, take a glance at yourself, take about a minute or two and just to go from head to toe and make sure you get your back and the back of the body,” says Dr. Maxwell Sauder, onco-dermatologist at Princess
Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. “Performing regular skin exams doesn’t need to be a long process.”

Sauder, who is also an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Toronto, is speaking out to raise awareness of the very real risk of melanoma , a less common but dangerous form of skin cancer that has the potential to spread to other parts of the body.

The number of Canadians diagnosed with melanoma has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association — concerning numbers have seen a number of companies involved in awareness campaigns to increase education about prevention. One of these is pharmaceutical company Merck Canada which launched Practice Skintimacy , a website aimed at teaching people how to spot the signs of melanoma. (…)

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