Melanoma Monday Raises Awareness About Deadliest Skin Cancer - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Melanoma Monday Raises Awareness About Deadliest Skin Cancer

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It's Melanoma Monday, a national campaign to raise awareness about the rarest but also the deadliest form of skin cancer. About 450 Nevadans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year alone. Of those, 70 will die from the disease.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being diagnosed. "Wear sunscreen, SPF of greater than 30 when you are out in the sun," said Dr. Jennifer Janiga, co-owner of Janiga MDs. "Try not to get a sunburn is the second thing, we know it's directly related to melanoma. If possible, avoid sun exposure in the high peak hours between 10am and 2pm."
 
Those are critical points, seeing as we get about 300 days of sunshine every year here in northern Nevada. Dr. Janiga recommends getting a skin check at least once a year from a dermatologist. If caught early, she says it's usually a small surgical procedure with a dermatologist to take care of the melanoma.

However, if melanoma is detected in the late stages and is larger and deeper, it can become very serious. "Sometimes it requires the operative room and some reconstructive surgery, as well as potential for chemotherapy or radiation if it is very severe and has already gone inside the body."

Dr. Janiga said the key is to always be checking your body, look at your moles and if anything is changing or is showing up that wasn't there before, get it checked out.

Written by Chris Ciarlo
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