COLORADO SPRINGS — May was Melanoma Awareness Month, and we shared stories of 3 Coloradans who are dealing with Melanoma, and are working hard to prevent it.
Dr. Brett Matheson, MD, FACMS with the Skin Cancer & Dermatology Center of Colorado Springs says, “Colorado has a very high rate of skin cancer, one of the highest in the country. We see lots of skin cancer in our state because of our altitude and sunny climate.”
While our high rates of skin cancer are nothing new, Dr. Matheson tells me those high rates are going even higher. “It's estimated in Colorado that the number of melanoma cases diagnosed in 2021 will increase 6%, and the number of deaths from melanoma will increase 4%. It really is a public health problem that we need to try to make people more aware of how common melanoma is becoming, and how important it is to protect yourself from the sun that is directly related to melanoma.”
As with almost every form of cancer, Dr. Matheson says early detection is critical when it comes to treating melanoma. “When melanoma is not caught early it has the chance to spread deeper into the skin, down to the blood vessels or the lymphatics where it can spread through the body and become a life-threatening condition. When caught early, melanoma is very treatable. We see patients every week here at the Skin Cancer and Dermatology Center of Colorado Springs with melanoma. When caught early it's simple treatment, local surgery done right in the office and our cure rate is very high 99%. When that melanoma diagnosis is delayed that's the problem.”
In coming stories, Dr. Matheson will discuss how to spot melanoma, why it’s so easy to miss and how easy it is to get your moles and skin checked.
If you have any questions follow up with your doctor, and feel free to contact the Skin Cancer and Dermatology Center of Colorado Springs, at 800-290-2478 or (719) 574-0310 extension 5. You can also visit their homepage at https://www.skincancerandderm.com/