China’s ‘Mozart’ Drops Off State Hit Parade
The history of the controversy over the benefits of liberal arts education versus training for the job market, touching upon educational elitism, accountability, and the value of a college education, logic begs the argument that neither vocational nor liberal education should be seen as an isolated end, but only as a part of the process of lifelong education.
|ABC's of Skin Cancer|
|Written by Kristi Runyon|
|Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:50|
| If you want to catch melanoma before it catches you, you need to bone up on the alphabet. Find out how dermatologists made watching for skin cancer as simple as A-B-C. |
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that forms from the melanocytes, the cells that give skin its color. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, since 1992, incidence of melanoma has risen by about three percent a year. Last year, 121,840 new cases were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. One of the greatest risk factors for melanoma is excessive sun exposure. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence doubles the lifetime risk for developing melanoma.
While melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer (accounting for about 3 to 4 percent of all skin cancers), it’s the most deadly. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates 8,650 people in the U.S. were expected to die from melanoma. The condition accounts for 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer.
The ABC’s of Early Detection
Experts say if melanoma can be detected early, before the cancer spreads to the nearby lymph nodes, prognosis is generally good, with five-year survival rates of 95 to 99 percent. Once the cancer spreads, the outlook is much worse, with five-year survival rates of 65 percent for regional spread and 15 percent for distant spread.
Skin cancers often develop in unusual looking moles or skin lesions. Only a biopsy can determine for sure whether the spot is skin cancer. However, since most moles are benign, it can be hard for people to know which ones should be seen by a physician.
Twenty-five years ago (1985), researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City developed an easy-to-use mnemonic to help patients and doctors remember the early warning signs of melanoma. They called it the ABCD system:
A stands for asymmetry. If you draw an imaginary line through the center of a mole, the two halves will look different in shape, color or both.
B is for border. Look for edges that are uneven, scalloped or blurry.
C is for color. A normal mole is one color throughout. Melanomas may contain different colors or different shades of a color.
D stands for diameter. Most melanomas are ¼ inch (roughly the size of a pencil eraser) or larger.
Dermatologist, David Polsky, M.D., Ph.D., says in 2004, researchers looked at skin cancer data to see how well the ABCD system was working for early detection of melanomas. The investigators found that some skin cancers didn’t quite fit the ABCD system, so Polsky suggested adding a fifth letter:
E stands for evolving. The additional letter highlights the need to look for moles or skin lesions that are changing over time, whether in size, color, elevation, or is developing new symptoms, like bleeding, crusting or itching.
Dermatologist, Jennifer Stein, M.D., Ph.D., recommends everyone regularly perform a skin-self exam, using the ABCDE system as a guide, to look for signs of skin cancer. Melanoma can also develop in areas that don’t normally get sun, so it’s important to check all areas of the body. You can use a mirror or partner to see the back and other hidden areas of the body. Don’t forget to check the tips of the ears and between the toes.
For general information on melanoma:
American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet
American Cancer Society, http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute, http://www.cancer.gov
Skin Cancer Foundation, http://www.skincancer.org
Research compiled and edited by Barbara J. Fister
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