In recognition of May being melanoma awareness month, the Save Your Skin Foundation is reminding everyone of the ABCDEFG warning signs of skin cancer.

They are:

Asymmetry: Is the mole irregularly shaped?

Borders: Are the edges uneven, scalloped or notched?

Colours: Is there a variety of shades (brown, red, white, blue or black)?

Diameter: Is the mole larger than 6mm, the size of a pencil eraser, or larger?

Evolution: Has there been a change in size, shape, color, or height?

Firm: Is the mole harder than the surrounding skin?

Growing: Is the mole gradually getting larger?

If you detect any of these warning signs, you are advised to see a physician.

Each year, more that 80,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer and of those, over 7200 with be diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of the condition. In 2017, 1200 Canadians died as a result of having a melanoma. Aside from being a common cancer, it is also a very preventable cancer. Most cases of skin cancer are the result of over exposure to UV radiation via sun light and/or tanning salons.

As we enter the summer season, it is advised to limit the time spent with your skin exposed directly to the sun’s UV rays. That means, covering up as much as possible with light pants or shirts, seeking shade whenever possible, and using sunscreen prior to any planned outdoor activities (at least SPF 30).

This month will have numerous activities to help raise awareness about melanoma— its diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Some key dates to keep in mind this month are:

  • May 1 – 31: May is Melanoma Awareness Month.
  • May 7: Melanoma Monday.
  • May 10: Save Your Skin Foundation’s Giving Hope Gala & Auction at St. James Cathedral Centre, Toronto.

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