Familial Malignant Melanoma
May 2017 was a tough month for me because my grandmother of 88 years passed away. It’s been hard to bounce back and blogging was not first on my mind. Familial Malignant Melanoma has impacted our family more than once.
This post is for my grandmother. I know she is watching and guiding me to make more of a difference in the lives of others.
The Positive of a Negative
Growing efforts by various Melanoma advocates and organizations to educate the public about the disease have been making positive strides. They have been steadily increasing awareness of just how harmful exposure to the sun’s UV rays is to our skin. That is truly excellent news.
However, those UV rays, while still the primary cause of Melanoma development, are not the only catalyst. Today we’ll focus on another.
Understanding Familial Diagnosis?
Those who have close family members who’ve been subjected to this affliction are more prone to acquiring it than others are. The plainest way to describe it is through these two quotes extracted from the cited Cancer.net source article that we’ve linked below:
“Familial malignant melanoma is a term usually referring to families in which 2 or more first-degree relatives, such as a parent, sibling, and/or child, have…melanoma. Cancer begins when healthy cells begin to change and grow, out of control forming a mass called a tumor. Overall, about 8% of people newly diagnosed with melanoma have a first-degree relative with melanoma. A much smaller percentage, about 1% to 2%, has 2 or more close relatives with melanoma.”
“Familial melanoma is a genetic or inherited condition. This means that the risk of melanoma can be passed from generation to generation in a family.”
What Can You Do?
Everybody of any age, race or gender, regardless of susceptibility, should be performing regular monthly skin self-examinations. Those who meet the above-listed criteria for Familial Malignant Melanoma, however, should be even more wary and diligent.
In addition to the self-exams, they should speak about it with their doctors and dermatologists. This will allow them to discuss screenings, as well as to best determine how frequently they should be visiting their physicians for Melanoma medical check-ups.
Sunscreen use and all other common sun-safety techniques should be practiced daily by everyone, of course. But those with ties to Familial Malignant Melanoma should be extra cautious whenever they’re outdoors.
Stay safe; be proactive.
*Additional source: Cancer.net
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