1 in 28 People You Know Could Have Melanoma

1 in 28 People You Know Could Have Melanoma

1 in 28 People You Know in Nashville Could Have Melanoma

As my readers know well, melanoma is something we constantly discuss in Nashville. And now that it’s Melanoma Month, we wanted to share some research which, while disconcerting, should help you realize the magnitude of what’s at risk for our skin.

In a study published in JAMA Dermatology, data looking at the increase in rates of invasive melanoma and early melanomas between 2009 and 2016 showed an increase in the number of melanomas diagnosed annually. The risk for invasive melanoma rose from 1 in 58 to 1 in 54. Additionally, the risk for early melanoma rose dramatically from 1 in 78 to 1 in 58 during the same time period. Combined? The lifetime risk for both invasive and early melanoma is now estimated at 1 in 28.

That jolts you and me both. In the past four years, I have seen a decrease in the number of invasive melanomas in Nashville, contrary to what this data suggests. Unfortunately, I am still diagnosing melanomas in Nashville, although many of them are early melanomas. Personally, I believed the change was because so many of our patients come in annually for skin exams, which gives us the opportunity to find early melanomas. This was new behavior, because when we first opened our Nashville practice, many of our patients were coming to us for the first time. Thus it is typically new patients, or patients whom I have not seen in years, who get diagnosed with deeply invasive melanomas - and this is precisely why we still encourage annual skin exams.

This article was an eye-opener, because it does reveal that thin, early melanomas are increasing in frequency at a greater rate than invasive melanomas - and it’s actually a national trend that all dermatologists are probably experiencing.

So, what are the easiest ways to stay protected? Remember these three things:

  1. Protect your face and all exposed skin with a zinc-based moisturizer. Shop our facial sunscreens and body sunscreens.

  2. Visit your dermatologist annually for a skin exam. Here’s why.

  3. Perform self-checks on your skin. If you see a new or changing spot, go see your dermatologist. Here’s what to keep an eye out for.

Speaking of skin exams… This May for Melanoma month, Skin Solutions Dermatology is proud to partner with the American Academy of Dermatology to offer free SPOTme Skin Cancer Screenings at various locations for the month of May. Screenings are available at our Smyrna, Hendersonville, Pulaski, and Franklin locations!

Please call these locations to schedule your free SPOTme Skin Cancer Screening. It is important to remember that only 2 to 4 screenings are offered a day, and only with select providers on select days. Since availability is limited, please call us soon!

If you’d like to book an appointment with a dermatologist, feel free to visit any of our Skin Solutions Dermatology branches in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JAMA Dermatology

Related Buzz: These Harmful Sun Rays Could Be Damaging Your Skin, Learn How to Spot Warning Signs of Melanoma

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD