May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and Optimum Healthcare IT understands the importance of early detection. In partnership with the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation (PDMF), we work to help bring awareness to Melanoma and the importance of early detection. The Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation funds research, raises awareness and educates the community about melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer.
1 in 5 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by UV exposure from the sun or tanning beds making it one of the most preventable cancers.
Each year, more than 76,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma – an average of one person every eight minutes. The incidence of melanoma has tripled in the last 30 years. Melanoma of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States – among the top 10 causes of new cancer cases.
The survival rate for melanoma depends a lot on the stage of the cancer. While the overall five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with melanoma is high at 97 percent, the survival rate decreases dramatically once melanoma spreads to other parts of the body. Patients with advanced melanoma have less than a 17% five-year survival rate.
How can you protect yourself?
Melanoma does not discriminate. If you have skin, you can develop melanoma regardless of your age, race, gender or skin color. Early detection of melanoma improves outcomes and long-term survival.