When I first started practice in Hammond in 1980, every year I would diagnose only a handful of melanomas--the most lethal form of skin cancer. For the last several years, Benson Dermatology has diagnosed typically thirty melanomas per year, some in teenagers!
Why? The reasons lie in our cultural affinity for tan skin (via tanning beds and “laying out”) and in our southern outdoors lifestyle. For most people in their twenties and beyond, the DNA damage has been done and cannot be reversed, leaving us with two options--protection from further damage and detection of existing pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions. Vigilant and frequent home inspection of your entire skin surface is a must, but also periodic “spot checks” by a board-certified skin specialist can give peace of mind concerning any changing or abnormal mole.
Robert Benson, MD
American Board Certified Dermatologist
Dermatological Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon