Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Melanoma Prevention

Prevention of malignant melanoma includes:

  • Wear clothing that blocks the sun's rays.
  • Use sunscreen if you are out in the sun for more than 30 minutes.
  • Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA.
  • Stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Perform regular skin self-examinations:
    • Skin areas that are often exposed to the sun are at highest risk for skin cancer.
    • See your doctor for changes in color, size, or overall appearance of skin lesions.
    • See your doctor for new or unusual skin lesions.
  • Learn the American Cancer Society's ABCD rules for skin lesions:
    • A: asymmetry: one-half of the mole does not match the other half.
    • B: border irregularity: the edges of the mole are ragged or notched.
    • C: color: the color of the mole is not the same all over. There may be shades of tan, brown, or black, and sometimes patches of red, blue, or white.
    • D: diameter: the mole is wider than about 1/4 inch

Continue to Melanoma Outlook

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Melanoma References
  1. Brown TJ, Nelson BR. Malignant melanoma: a clinical review. Cutis. 1999 May;63(5):275-8, 281-4. [10349543]
  2. Ruiz-Maldonado R, Orozco-Covarrubias ML. Malignant melanoma in children. A review. Arch Dermatol. 1997 Mar;133(3):363-71. [9080898]
  3. Schuchter LM. Review of the 2001 AJCC staging system for cutaneous malignant melanoma. Curr Oncol Rep. 2001 Jul;3(4):332-7. [11389818]
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