Breast cancer survivors 16% more likely to develop melanoma, new study reveals
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The International Journal of Cancer has released a study that shows that breast cancer survivors are 16% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never had the cancer.
Dr. Karan Lal, director of pediatric dermatology and cosmetic surgery at Affiliated Dermatology said, “A lot of breast cancer survivors are subject to getting chemotherapy and getting radiation therapy that’s part of their treatment regimen, which, in general, put people at risk for other types of cancers.” The doctor said that the correlation is not talked about much despite melanoma being the most common type of cancer in the world.
“I try to encourage a lot of people, when doing their self breast exams every month, [that] they also check their skin every month and look for any changing moles or any spots,” Dr. Lal said. “I think it’s important to recognize the signs of a changing mole.”
He suggests looking for the following:
- Asymmetrical shaping
- Irregular borders on mole
- Mole developing multiple colors
- Mole getting larger than size of pencil erasers
Dr. Lal also encourages individuals to get their eyes checked and to have a check-up with their OGBYN every year as you can get melanoma in those areas of the body too. “If you’re over the age of 18, you should get a skin exam every year. Not a lot of people look at your skin,” the doctor said. “Find a dermatologist who’s board-certified that you trust who’s going to make sure to do your skin exam.”
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