See that little mole on this patient’s leg? That was a melanoma. She was surprised when I told her it needed a biopsy — she hadn’t ever even noticed it.
I found two melanomas on patients last week, so this diagnosis is really on my mind. Did you know that one person dies from melanoma every minute? I say this not to totally freak you out, but to point out that this is serious stuff!
Melanomas come in all shapes and sizes, so dermatologists look at a variety of features when evaluating nevi (aka moles). If you zoom in, you can see that this one had two different colors, and it also looked irregular under dermoscopy (using a special magnifier for the skin), prompting me to remove it.
Obviously most people don’t run around carrying a dermatoscope, so the ABCDE rules of melanoma are a helpful starting point when looking at nevi:
A - Asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn’t match the other)
B - Border (irregular border)
C - Color (more than one color)
D - Diameter (greater than the size of a pencil eraser)
E - Evolving (changes in size, color, shape)
Of course, lots of moles have some of these features and are completely benign. If you have any that you think might be concerning, though, it is a good idea to see a #boardcertified dermatologist for a skin exam. In addition, if you have a first-degree relative with melanoma, a history of severe sunburns or indoor tanning, or a lot of moles, then you should also get checked.
Guess what? It’s #MelanomaMonday , and we’re here to remind you to check your skin if it’s been a while! 🔍
Get yourself in front of a mirror and take a close look at all of your moles (and have someone else look at your back). 👀
While examining your skin, remember the ABCDEs of melanoma: Asymmetry, Borders, Color, Diameter, and Evolution. (Swipe for ABCDE chart) If anything concerns you, don’t hesitate to call us. 👩🏼⚕️ Also, remember to practice sun safety (SPF 30+ sunscreen, seek shade during peak sun, wear a wide brim hat). ☀️
We all know someone who has been affected by this condition. It’s time to put a stop to melanoma! 🛑
Today is #MelanomaMonday , have you had your annual skin check yet? Get yourself in front of a mirror and take a close look 👀 at all of your moles. ◽️
While examining your skin, remember the ABCDE's of skin cancer: Asymmetry, Boarders, Color, Diameter and Evolution. If you see anything of concern, its time to call your dermatologist! ◽️
When caught early, melanoma is curable! Make sun-smart decisions (like SPF every single day) and visit a dermatologist for your 📆 annual screening. #skincancer#skincheck#melanomaawareness#melanoma#atlantaskincare#atlantaskincancerspecialists
#Repost @doctor_u_derm (@get_repost)
Melanoma is one of the scariest skin cancers we treat in dermatology. I recently had a patient who was diagnosed with large, deep melanoma on the arm. By the time he came to dermatology, melanoma had already spread to several locations in his body. He died 3 months later of complications from metastatic melanoma. Don’t let this be you! See some tips below!.
1. NO tanning beds!!! — reference article in the last pic! @cbsnews .
2. Wear your sunscreen!! See my last post on SPF AND checkout my highlights for SPF recs .
3. Look into your family history — melanoma can run in families ! If positive, see your local dermatologist for a full body skin check! .
4. Remember that just because you are brown skinned, you are not exempt from melanoma. As @brownskinderm pointed out, acral lentiginous melanoma is a REAL risk for darker skinned patients. Swipe to see examples, what to look for, and check out her post!!
5. If any spot on your skin is getting darker, changing, growing, new, or you just have a lot of moles, schedule a mole check with your local dermatologist!! Don’t take a risk with your skin!!.
Remember you can be a #skincancerhero
6 more sleeps until we walk for awareness! Please sign up for Strides for Melanoma 2018, taking place this Sunday September 23rd at Queen Elizabeth Park! The money we raise goes directly to patient care for education, support and clinical trials. Just think how you would want someone to be there for you... It's HALF of us now who will be diagnosed with a form of Cancer in our lives.
Melanoma Monday..... This was a nasty ugly melanoma.... This should be OBVIOUS to anyone that this is not a normal looking mole! This image through my dermatoscope shows so much.... Pigment streaking, irregular blotches, globules, thickened network ....
Look out for the ABCDEs of melanoma :
A: asymmetry ( one half doesn't look like the other)
B: border ( irregular or jagged border
C: color ( more than 1 color, jet black or red)
D: diameter ( bigger than 6 mm or a pencil eraser )
E: evolution ( changing, bleeding , itching , growing)
1 in 5 Americans will develop #skincancer . Let us help you with prevention and early detection with an annual skin cancer screening. Call us today at 704-235-1827 to schedule yours. #MelanomaMonday#MooresvilleDerm
Happy Monday!! 💓 Back to melanoma Monday’s- let’s talk about about a tool I cannot live without: the DERMATOSCOPE. If you’ve seen me for a skin check- you are quite familiar with this object. 😉. So what is it? It is a tool that enables the trained eye to detect skin cancers and other types of skin conditions early. It has a magnifying glass (usually 10x), an LED light, and a polarizing filter- essentially allowing the user to look “one layer” into the skin and analyze specific patterns to more accurately detect cancer. Studies have shown it improves diagnostic accuracy of melanoma by 10-27%!! It is invaluable in diagnosing early basal cell skin cancers too. I can even diagnose a basal cell that is hardly visible to the naked eye with my dermatoscope- it’s incredible. Numerous studies have shown diagnostic accuracy with this tool is superior to that of the naked eye. 💓 but so important- you can’t just pick this thing up and expect to understand it. It takes YEARS of training, practice and experience- as it has it’s own set of pattern recognition and analysis. My dermatology residency trained extensively on this tool and I’ve attended multiple conferences dedicated to training on dermoscopy (love the annual course at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC). I am constantly learning more from it and don’t know how I could detect most of the (super early) cancers I do without it. 💓 I’ll post more about what lesions look like through this tool at a later date. I own 4 😬😳😬 and they aren’t cheap but I’ll pay just about anything to detect cancer early and I never want to have a clinic without it! (So I have back ups for my back ups 🤗).
You probably know that skin is our largest organ - but you might not have given much thought to how differentiated it is throughout the body. When I perform a post-skin cancer reconstruction, my preference is always to utilize the surrounding skin to close the wound. This allows us to best conceal the result because we are using the most closely matched skin. In this case, I was able to surgically rearrange the skin of the nose - taking some from the upper, more pliable portion - to achieve a more seamless appearance while repairing the defect created by cancer removal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Curious: how many of you started pinching the bridge of your nose to feel that more mobile skin up top while you were reading this? 🤔
☀️ Please head over to @dermdrdempsey page to see this post in its entirety (7 slides total, including the first photo). #MelanomaKills so it is definitely worth a look! #MelanomaMonday#GetYourSkinChecked#SeeADermatologist#SkinCancerCheck#SkinCancerAwareness#ProactiveHealth — Repost from @dermdrdempsey using @RepostRegramApp - Happy Monday! 💓 Time to talk more melanoma. Swipe left to see some examples from my clinic. (All posted with patient permission). 💓 Dermatology is all about pattern recognition and paying attention to detail- all day long I check people’s skin over head to toe- and All day long I tell people- “look for spots that are changing, catching your attention or just different from your others”. 💓 Here’s the deal- melanoma comes in all colors, sizes and shapes- but it is a spot that will change and it is a spot that is different from the others. Please look yourself over and get in the habit of looking yourself over- get to know your spots! If something is off then get it checked by a board certified dermatologist. Caught early this cancer is highly treatable, caught late is a different story! Check check check and educate! ❤️
After much pestering and worrying, our friend listened to us and decided to FINALLY get the spot in his ear looked at by a dermatologist. Good thing! His rough, brown never-healing scab turned out to be precancerous and was promptly removed! 😱
The doctor reminded him that skin cancer can be found all over our bodies and be sure to be thorough when applying SPF. We are talking ears, fingers and toes and even the bottoms of our feet! The Sun Defense Mineral brushes are ideal for those hard to reach “nooks n crannies”. SPF is truly our BFF!
Planted Zinnia’s and Sunflowers around the chicken coop🌻🐓🐓🌻
I’m starting my 4th week of the daily medications.
I’ve been doing fairly well. A few bumps here and there, but nothing too unbearable. I had a fair amount of late afternoon/evening achy-ness. The kind of achy where you feel like you are coming down with a flu bug. It lasted off and on for about 10 days. Then I had some tender joint swelling of my inner knees and elbows, with a blotchy rash, just for a couple of days. It seemed to go as quickly as it came. I try and not read too much into what minimal side effects I’ve experienced. Yes, they’re annoying, but manageable, at least thus far. I’ve had several sweet friends checking in with me via direct messages, and I can’t tell you enough how much that means to me. Usually it’s just at a time I need an emotional pick me up. The one thing I’m really working at adjusting too is the emotional ebbs and flow of dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I like to think I’m a happy go lucky gal, and I really am, but at times emotional things can sweep over me in overwhelming, unexpected moments.
Carry on my dear friends, we’ll be chatting again soon🧡🙋🏻♀️
💓 Happy Monday. Let’s start the week off with a scary statistic from the Melanoma Research Foundation @curemelanoma 💓 Did you know it takes JUST ONE blistering sunburn to double your risk of melanoma? 😮 It takes just five to increase your chances by 80%. It is not worth it. 💓 Melanoma is no joke- I am sure you know someone who has been affected by this terrible cancer... probably even someone who lost their life to it. It is terrible. Please protect yourself- and protect your kids. And don’t forget to check yourself! Early detection of this cancer is key, as it is highly treatable in early stages. Please see a board certified dermatologist for any changing or symptomatic spot. Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start! 💗