Ask the Doctor: Melanoma Monday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Ask the Doctor: Melanoma Monday

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Today is Melanoma Monday and we're talking about this dangerous form of skin cancer in tonight's Ask the Doctor segment.

Dr. Jennifer Janiga is a dermatologist with Janiga MDs. To speak with her dial 858-2222. Lines are open from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. tonight. For future questions go to http://www.janigamds.com

It's estimated that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime; and one person dies from melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - every hour.

In Nevada an estimated 500 residents will be diagnosed with melanoma each year. Humboldt County exceeds the national average and has the highest rate of new diagnoses in the state. Diagnoses are also high in Washoe, Churchill and Clark Counties as well as Carson City.  

About 68 people in Nevada die of melanoma every year, higher than the national average, and the melanoma death rate is nearly three times higher among Nevadan men than women.  

When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. The two most common types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is much more dangerous.

Monthly head-to-toe skin examination is recommended by dermatologists and skin cancer prevention organizations, and anything spotted that's suspicious should be checked out by a doctor. Information on how to do an examination and what to look for are available online at skincancer.org.

The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation. Nevada receives nearly 300 days of sunshine annually, meaning UV radiation is often present.  

The best prevention is to protect skin from UV radiation by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing including a hat with a wide brim, using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater that also blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and avoiding indoor tanning.

Those who use indoor tanning devices before age 30 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75%.

Nevada was the 4th state to ban youth under 18 from using indoor tanning devices as of July 1, 2013. The law also requires tanning salons to display warning signs stating the dangers of indoor tanning and collect customer release forms acknowledging the dangers of indoor tanning.
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