What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma

Throughout the world, the incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing at an alarming rate. This dramatic rise is largely due to more frequent and prolonged exposure to intense sun, the result of major changes in clothing styles, recreation, and lifestyle (including widespread access to midwinter resort vacations). Significantly, recent scientific studies have shown an increased number of moles on, and a higher rate of melanoma in, people with the greatest sunscreen use, pointing out the mistaken belief that using sunscreen means getting a safe tan. The truth is that most sunscreen provides protection from UVB rays-the rays that cause the sunburn you see and feel-but not from UVA rays-the cancer-causing rays that penetrate deeper into the skin. In this book, physicians Jill R. Schofield and William A. Robinson team up to provide comprehensive information about melanoma for patients and family members as well as those who are concerned about getting the disease. They provide the latest information on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and follow-up, and answer a host of questions, such as: * I use a number 15 sunscreen. Is that enough? * I have been under a lot of stress lately. Did that make me get melanoma? * If the melanoma comes back, when will it happen? * Is there a blood test to tell if the melanoma has spread? * Is a mole more likely to turn into melanoma if it's in a place where my clothes rub? In addition, the authors describe who is at risk and tell readers how to determine their level of risk; describe skin warning signs and unusual forms of melanoma; talk about melanoma in children, pregnant women, and people whose immune systems are compromised; and take a look at what's on the horizon in diagnosis and treatment. The book is fully illustrated with color photographs and line drawings and includes a glossary and a guide to resources-support and advocacy organizations, and web sites-for people with melanoma.