• Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is characterized by uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells.

• An irregular mole is a mole that has a least one characteristic in common with melanoma.

• Scientists have identified several risk factors for developing melanoma, including ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, moles, fair skin, freckling, light hair and a family history of melanoma.

• However, everyone is a risk for melanoma, even people who are not fair-skinned, have never spent a lot of time in the sun, have always used sunscreen and have no family history of the disease. That is why it is so important to have your skin examined regularly by a dermatologist.

 (American Cancer Society Statistics)

• Every hour, one person in the US dies from melanoma and 15 people are diagnosed with the disease.

• Approximately 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.

• When detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is highly curable. In fact, the average 5-year survival rate for individuals whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.

• There are an estimated 130,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the US every year.

• Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for women ages 25-29.

• ACS estimates that 73,870 new invasive melanomas will be diagnosed in 2015. Additionally, melanoma deaths are expected to reach about 9,940 in 2015.

• The use of indoor tanning beds under the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.

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