How to spot skin cancer and steps to avoid it

Doctors have to examine and ultimately scan abnormalities to determine the severity of the melanoma.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 7:37 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The American Cancer Institute estimates about 100,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2023. Monument Health wants to put an end to that by hosting Melanoma Mondays. A day when Monument will be performing free screenings for those concerned about something on their skin.

With melanoma affecting as many as it does, it’s important to keep in mind some basic tips you can follow to try and spot anything that’s wrong before it gets worse. For example, you should look out for any bumps that have an off-color or are bigger than a pencil eraser. Maren Gaul, a dermatologist at Monument Health Dermatology says the most important thing is to look out for things that don’t fit in with your body.

“But what I really tell my patients is watch for something that’s an ugly duckling. It doesn’t fit in with anything else you have. Something that might be changing, not healing, tender, itchy, that kind of thing.”

In terms of prevention… Gaul says this can be as simple as reminding yourself and loved ones to apply sunscreen and reapply it every couple of hours. She says that keeping this in mind even on cold and cloudy days can greatly impact what develops.

“You know still to this day people come in with sunburns. I heard it the other day ‘Well it wasn’t that hot.’ Well actually if it’s cloudy or if it’s winter and it’s cold… you can get sun damage,” said Gaul.

That free screening will take place from 6-7:45 p.m. on May 15 and you can find them at Monument Health Dermatology on Fifth St. in Rapid City.