Dermatologists: Men Over 50 at High Risk for Skin Cancer

By Joe Gullo

Published 05/29 2014 03:07PM

Updated 05/29 2014 03:11PM

May is skin cancer awareness month.

"You'd do anything to take care of that spot on your lawn, so why not take care of that spot on your skin?" Dermatologist Dr. Rutledge Forney said.

That's the message the American Academy of Dermatology wants to send to men over 50.

They want these men to know they are at high risk of developing melanoma, the potentially fatal form of skin cancer. And that their risk is greater than the rest of the population.

Men often get the cancers on their backs, an area they can't see.

"We also very commonly see melanomas on the ear, on the left arm, on the scalp and on the left side of the face because of the car and because men lose the hair on top of their heads and they don't think about protecting that from the sun," said Dr. Forney. 

Dermatologists also have a message for loved ones: look at your husband, look at your boyfriend, look at your dad.

To watch for spots, remember a-b-c-d-e.

"The 1st one is asymmetry. If you can take a lesion and cut it in half and the 2 sides don't match, that's a warning sign. The 2nd is irregular borders. Two colors is one of the main things we look for. The 4th thing is diameter. We know that moles that are bigger than the size of a pencil eraser have a greater risk factor. And the last is e for evolving or changing," said Dr. Forney.

If something suspicious is seen, get it checked. If it is melanoma, remember early detection and treatment saves lives.

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