Texans at high risk for melanoma

By: Christine Nicholson Email
By: Christine Nicholson Email

TEXAS -- Summer time is when the sun's at its worst for outdoor activities. A new study says Texans are at high risk for developing melanoma.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and the leading cause of death from skin disease. With Texas ranked 4th nationally for newly diagnosed cases of melanoma, it's time for Texans to slather on the sunscreen.

Experts predict that more than two million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. Of those, almost 5,000 Texans will be diagnosed, potentially resulting in nearly 600 deaths. Dr. Diego Restrepo with TexomaCare in Denison says those who are predisposed to melanoma are people who've had sunburns early in life or have a family history of melanoma. Protecting your skin means protecting yourself from the deadliest of all skin cancers.

"Stay away from the sun from the time of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.," says Restrepo. "That's when it's at its highest. Wear, if you're out in the sun, a hat, long sleeves, long pants to prevent that. And finally use SPF greater than 30 to help prevent melanomas. "

Tanning-bed users are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma and are at higher risk to develop carcinomas. These are common types of skin tumors that can spread to other parts of the body.

Restrepo urges Texans to watch for irregular moles; changes in color, shape, texture or size. Moles greater than 5 millimeters in diameter should be looked at by a dermatologist right away.


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