Skin Cancer: It's About the ABC's

August 23, 2009 1:16:59 PM PDT
This year, more than 1 million people will be told they have skin cancer. The worst kind, melanoma, will affect more than 60,000 Americans. 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by the sun. What you know and don't know about protecting yourself may be the difference between life and death. Scott Lindstam has spent most of his life outside.

"I spend as much time on the water as I can," Lindstam told Ivanhoe.

All that time in the sun caused an unusual spot on his ear. It was a spot he ignored.

"If you wait as long as I did, and don't know what it is, you could be losing a body part," Lindstam explained.

Lindstam lost his ear to skin cancer 10 years ago. Now, he's losing his life.

"When I went in, my cancer had spread to my back, and now it's growing through my bones, all through my vertebrae and my ribs," Lindstam said.

Caucasians are most at risk. One in three white people will have skin cancer in their lifetime. You can detect skin cancer by using the "ABC's."

"A is for asymmetry, meaning it's not perfectly round," Dennis Rousseau, M.D., Ph.D., a surgical oncologist at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando, Fla., told Ivanhoe. "B is border irregularity, jagged or not smooth. C is for color variations. D is diameter, six millimeters or larger, we get concerned about a mole, and E is expansion. Any mole that gets bigger is at risk."

Because of skin cancer, Lindstam is forced inside.

"When you wake up, people take a lot of things for granted, and I just take mine day to day," Lindstam said.

Two years ago, Lindstam was given six months to live. Now, every day he beats the odds and warns everyone he can that if you see a problem, get it checked. It could save your life.

One bad burn when you're a kid doubles your risk for melanoma later in life. People suffer most of their sun damage as kids. Babies 6 months of age or younger should be kept completely out of direct sun at all times. Do not apply sunscreen to infants this age. After 6 months, apply it every time you go outside.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For additional research on this article, click here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Jennifer Roberts, Media Relations
Florida Hospital
Orlando, Fla.
(407) 303-8221
Jennifer.n.roberts@flhosp.org
http://www.skincancer.org
http://www.cancer.org
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORE HEALTH NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
Local | California/State | National/World | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments