Posted: May 5, 2014

Today, May 5, is not only Cinco de Mayo but also Melanoma Monday, a day to raise awareness of the deadly effects of skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, affecting nearly one out of every 20 Americans in their lifetime. Freckles, moles and brown spots can be harmless, but they can also be warning signs of possible melanoma. Consider the ABCDE method for possible signs of melanoma:

A-Asymmetry, if you draw a line through a mole and the two halves do not match.

B-Border, if the border of a mole is not circular but rather scalloped or uneven.

C-Color, if a mole is several different colors, or a darker black or blue.

D-Diameter, if the diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.

E-Evolving, if you detect changes in a mole size, color, or elevation.

While the sun’s ultra-violet rays are the most common cause of melanoma, there is also some risk associated with medication. A recent study showed that men who took Viagra were nearly twice as likely to develop melanoma. (Get more information) /viagra-melanoma-lawsuits.html

Here are some tips – termed the Five S’s in a recent article – to safeguarding against the sun’s harmful UV rays:

Slip on a shirt or sun-protective clothing.

Slop on sunscreen with a substantial SPF rating, at least 15-30 with both UVA and UVB protection.

Slap on a hat, the wider the brim the better.

Seek shade or shelter during peak sun exposure times.

Slide on sunglasses to protect the eyes.