MELANOMA: Doctor offers tips on lowering deadly skin cancer risk

In Arizona, people see the sun more days than not, and with that comes questions about skin protection.

Are you protecting your skin correctly, and how often are you checking for any changes?

According to a dermatologist, skin cancer, specifically Melanoma, is on the rise, and has been for the past few decades.

According to a prediction made by the American Cancer Society, 80,000 to 90,000 new Melanoma cases will be diagnosed in 2017, and 9,000 people are expected to die iun 2017 from melanoma.

Dr. Josh Tournas said although it's commonly diagnosed in those aged 60 and older, young adults in their 20s and 30s are not immune to it, and are also being diagnosed with it.

If not caught early, Melanoma could turn deadly, quickly.

"Some vigilance, especially, for things that kind of almost appear out of no where or get bigger or bleed or hurt or if it just stands out from the rest of those little moles on your body," said Tournas. He went on to say of the most three common skin cancers, Melanoma is the most dangerous and can form on places where your body rarely sees the sun, and in places people would likely never check.

"We get people who come in and say their hair dresser or barber found something," said Tournas.

Tournas said there are two different age brackets of people diagnosed with Melanoma: the slow-growing, less aggressive kind people in their 60s and up are diagnosed with after a lifetime of sun exposure, and the more aggressive type that 20 to 30-year-olds are being diagnosed with.

"One that tends to affect people younger, often times, can be anywhere on the body including areas that are traditional thought to be sun-protected and don't get sun all of the time, and that has to do a lot of times with genetics, lots of painful sunburns in younger days," said Tournas.

Tournas said even though it is rare, a type of melanoma can even form in the eye, or on skin where a freckle or mole is not present, similar to a type of rash. He said if Melanoma runs in your family, you still need sun exposure to get it. Tournas said people should avoid the sun when they can, use sunscreen when they can't, and never use any type of tanning bed.

"Melanoma is one of the cancers that does take a lot of years of young people's lives away, if it's not caught early," said Tournas.

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