Healthier Me: Melanoma on the Rise in Young People - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Healthier Me: Melanoma on the Rise in Young People

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The scar on Sharilyn Stansbury's back is still healing.

Sharilyn: "It was really scary. It's the deadliest cancer."

A routine check up at the dermatologist's office may have saved her life. Doctors had a mole removed and checked and found out it was melanoma.

Sharilyn: "At the time I thought it would be benign, but it came back something that I didn't want to hear, I guess."
Sanford Health Dermatologist Dr. Yulia Khan says she's seeing more and more young people with melanoma.

Dr. Khan: "It is a concerning trend and the American Academy of Dermatology has been lobbying about banning tanning. Young adults don't realize the dangers involved."

Sharilyn blames her time in tanning beds in high school and college, but she won't do it again.

Sharilyn: "I just know that I can change here on out... I can't change the past."

In fact, Sharilyn has become a young spokesperson against tanning.  

Doctors say an alarming number of young people are being diagnosed with skin cancer.

A 22 year old Fargo woman who is swearing off tanning after Sanford doctors found melanoma on her back.

Sharilyn: "Don't do it. It's not worth it. Wrinkles, sunspots... It's not just cancer. It will affect you in the long run."

Dr. Khan says people should follow the abcde's of skin cancer detection:

A- asymmetry: normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.

B- border: watch for moles or spots with blurry and/or jagged edges.

C- color: a mole that is more than one hue is suspicious.

D- diameter: if it is larger than a pencil eraser, it needs to be examined by a doctor.

E- elevation: elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is the second most common cancer in women aged 20 to 29.

 If you have any worrisome areas on your skin... you should call a doctor.

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