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It's "Melanoma Monday" in AZ, Nation

PHOTO: Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills an estimated 200 people in Arizona each year, and preventing the disease is the goal of a national campaign today. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
PHOTO: Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills an estimated 200 people in Arizona each year, and preventing the disease is the goal of a national campaign today. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
May 4, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. -It's "Melanoma Monday" in Arizona and across the nation, which is centered on the early detection and prevention of the deadliest form of skin cancer, which kills thousands of Americans each year. Lisa Quale, health educator with the University of Arizona Cancer Institute, says it can be difficult to avoid the sun in Arizona, but she says you can take steps to better protect yourself.

"Covering up, wearing long sleeves, long pants, broad-rimmed hats, sunglasses, and then sunscreen on areas that you can't cover up," says Quale.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a recent year, more than 9,000 Americans died from melanoma, with about two thirds being male and the rest female. The CDC estimates about 200 people in Arizona die from Melanoma each year.

Melanoma Monday kicks off the broader campaign of May being "Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month," which Quale says encourages regular medical checkups and self-examination.

"Early detection is about, going in, seeing your dermatologist regularly, and doing self skin exams," she says. "Look for new spots, changing spots, on your body that could possibly be skin cancer."

Quale adds, it doesn't matter if it's clear or overcast, or how long you're spending in the sun; every bit of exposure can damage your skin.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ