With today being Melanoma Monday as part of the month-long Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month® campaign, many hospitals are offering free skin cancer screenings, so it's important to check with your local hospital to see if they may be offering these screenings or check the link below for more information.

The statistic that really jumps out at you with regard to skin cancer in the U.S. is that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in the course of their lifetime. If that doesn't grab your attention then there's this one: one person dies from melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - every hour. 

It is because of statistics such as those the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has deemed the month of May as Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month® and also why today has been dubbed Melanoma Monday. It's all part of a plan to encourage the public to learn more about this deadly form of cancer, as early detection is such a key to fighting it.

The AAD has also started the how to SPOT Skin CancerTM campaign as well as way to educate the public on this topic. The campaign aims to save lives by emphasizing the importance of early detection.

The AAD has developed an easy five-step rule dubbed the ABCDE rule, which briefly outlines what to look for on the early warning sign front for skin cancer:

A - is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.

B - is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.

C - is for Color that varies from one area to another.

D - is for Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.

E - is for Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

The AAD also encourages do-it-yourself full-body checks once a month to help you detect a suspicious spot early enough to, simply stated, potentially save your life. Check out their mole chart that includes what they call a Body Mole Map to help you check yourself or loved ones for suspicious spots.

For more information on the free screenings being offered around the U.S. today visit SpotSkinCancer.com and also check out their section on the site that lists additional resources on skin cancer prevention and detection.

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