What You Need to Know About Melanoma

back-sunscreen

Written by: Dr. Neil Sadick

Melanoma is the deadliest of skin cancers, mostly because it can spread very quickly and attack organs such as the brain and lungs. The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years, and despite considerable scientific and clinical breakthroughs in treatment, dermatologists will stress that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

According to 2017 data from the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that in the United States 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed, and 9,730 people are expected to die from it. Since May is Melanoma Awareness Month, take the opportunity to brush up on ways to protect yourself and your family from this disease:

  • Strip down, check yourself out from head to toe, have a partner spot-check you and know your mole ABCDEs:
    • Asymmetry — Make sure the mole looks symmetrical.
    • Border — Check for uneven borders.
    • Color — Look out for multiple colors.
    • Diameter — Observe if the mole has a small diameter.
    • Evolving — Pay attention to the mole over time to see if it changes color, shape, or size.
  • Seek shade and avoid sun exposure particularly between 10 AM and 4 PM, when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Slip (on a shirt), slop (on sunscreen), slap (on a hat), and wrap (on sunglasses).
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
  • Visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a full-body checkup and don’t be shy to show up whenever you have any concerns.


Neil Sadick, MD FAAD, FAACS, FACP, FACPh, is one of the most influential and renowned dermatologists and researchers in the world. His multiple discoveries have strongly influenced and transformed the future of dermatology. Dr. Sadick holds four board certifications: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery, and Hair Restoration. He is also a fellow of the American College of Phlebology. Dr. Sadick’s prestigious list of titles range from Clinical Professor Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College to Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, and he serves on the Executive Board of the International Society of Dermatologic Surgery. He has been listed among New York magazine’s “Best Doctors” list for several years running. Dr. Sadick is the author or co-author of more than 500 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has contributed to more than 80 chapters of medical books. In addition, he has written or edited more than 20 books on cosmetic surgery, hair, and vein treatments. Dr. Sadick has also been a guest lecturer at more than 500 medical conferences and workshops worldwide. He is also fluent in Spanish.