Melanoma Monday raising awareness about deadliest form of skin cancer

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- May 3rd is Melanoma Monday. It's a day designed to raise awareness about the deadliest form of skin cancer and how to protect yourself.

You may think of melanoma as just striking older men, but it's also becoming more common among young women between the ages of 15 to 29.

One mother-to-be, Caitlin Jones, is sharing her story.

Jones says she now tries to make every day count after she was diagnosed with melanoma in 2020.

At the time, she didn't think a mole on top of her head could be cancerous, especially since it had been biopsied four years earlier. But her husband knew something didn't look right.

"My husband, who is quite a bit taller than I am, noticed that that spot was changing. It was much larger in size and changing color. And he said, 'You know, I really think you should go in and have that looked at'," said Jones.

She was shocked when her dermatologist told her it had turned into melanoma. which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

She was treated at the Cleveland Clinic. The area was surgically removed and more than a dozen of lymph nodes were examined.

Thankfully, the cancer hadn't spread, which would have required much more aggressive treatment.

Jones is now super cautious when she's out in the sun. She gets emotional thinking about what could've happened if she had waited to get checked.

"I try not to think about it because I know how quickly things can change with melanoma, and how weeks and months can significantly change the diagnosis and prognosis, so looking back, I was probably right on time," she said.

Jones encourages others to protect your skin. If you feel like a mole, freckle or skin lesion looks odd, is new or is changing, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider or dermatologist as soon as possible.
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