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what is melanoma? Melanoma is usually, but not always, a cancer of the skin.

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MELANOMA BEGINS IN melanocytes (the cells that product the pigment melanin, which colors the skin, hair & eyes.)

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melanocytes also form moles. *Moles can be a risk factor for melanoma, but most moles do not become melanoma.

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“An estimated 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the US in 2015.” skincancer.org

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3 general categories: Cutaneous Melanoma Mucosal Melanoma Ocular Melanoma

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cutaneous melanoma MELANOMA OF THE SKIN (MOST COMMON) Superficial Spreading Melanoma Nodular Melanoma Acral Lentiginous Melanoma Lentigo Malignat Melanoma

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mucosal melanoma OCCURS AT MUCOUS MEMBRANES Nasal passages Throat Vagina Anus Mouth

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ocular melanoma OCCURS AROUND THE EYE

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what causes melanoma? Current research points to family history, genetics and environmental factors such as ultraviolet (UV) rays.

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Approximately 90% of melanoma cases can be linked to the exposure of UV rays from both natural and artificial sources.

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Generally speaking, if you notice a change in color, shape, size, feeling or texture of an existing spot (or new spot!), talk to your doctor right away. symptoms to look out for:

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3 best ways to reduce your risk: Wear sunscreen Wear protective clothing Avoid tanning beds

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wear sunscreen UV rays can still damage your skin even when it’s cloudy out, so try to make sunscreen a daily habit.

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wear protective clothing Protect yourself with protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses.

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avoid tanning beds Instead of putting yourself at risk with UV rays, try an airbrush tanning solution instead, which is much safer and less invasive.

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melanoma awareness WE SUPPORT & you can too!

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