Melanoma is an invasive malignancy originating in the melanocytes, the skin and eye cells that produce melanin. Only 4 percent of skin tumours are melanomas, but they cause 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer. The incidence of these deadly tumours is on the rise in Canada, especially among people living in coastal and southern areas. Cutaneous melanoma is responsible for 1.2 percent of all cancer deaths in women and 1.9 percent among men.
Most melanomas occur on the skin, but they can also occur in the eyes and other organs. A mole that changes in colour or size or starts bleeding should raise suspicion. Warning signs for skin cancer are known as the ABCDEs:
- Border irregularity
- Diameter greater than 6 mm
- Evolution, or skin changes
Sunburns (for instance, while on vacation) and using tanning beds greatly increase the risk of melanoma.
This quiz will assess your knowledge about skin cancer safety and prevention. Share this information with your patients to encourage skin health and help them keep themselves safe.
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