Local doctor weighs in on melanoma risks

Local doctor weighs in on melanoma risks

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Usually melanoma arises from a pre-existing mole and the mole could change in color or size.

These are typically bad signs that can pop up no matter what the season or temperature is outside.

"I believe there's a misconception about the winter time not having an increase risk in skin cancer because its cold outside or its even cloudy outside," Michael Caglia, Medical Doctor at Midland Dermatology and Skin Cancer said.

UVA and UVB rays that come from sunlight are responsible for skin cancer, and in Texas these rays decrease only about 20 percent in the winter time compared to the summer.

"So its still really important to wear sunblock, protect your eyes hands and face during the winter time for decreasing your risk during skin cancer," Caglia said.

Melanoma can even emerge in the eyes or on the face.

Caglia said more people are starting to become more aware about sun protection and skin cancers.

"Melanoma accounts for one percent of all skin cancers," Caglia said. "However, melanoma accounts for 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths so its really important to diagnose melanoma earlier."

Caglia said over the last 30 years, melanoma incidents have doubled.

There is now a 200 percent increase rate here in the United States.

A big reason for this is more people are starting to go into tanning beds at an early age.

"Tanning beds are just as bad as being out in the sun and sometimes can even be worse depending on what type of sun tanning bed," Caglia said.

UVB rays is what gives the tan color to those using the tanning bed putting those at high risk for getting melanoma or any other skin cancer.

Because one patient dies every hour per day from melanoma, Caglia said it's important to wear protection year round.

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