Melanoma skin checks at O'Connor

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2010, file photo, Katie Donnar, 18, shows the scar from where melanoma was on the calf of her leg, in front of a tanning bed like the on she used at her home and at the tanning salons, in Vincennes, Ind.. Donnar was in the sixth grade when she started using tanning beds. Across the nation, lawmakers are debating where to draw the line on young teen tanning, considering proposals that would make it illegal to expose minors to ultraviolet rays from sunlamps. Oregon democratic lawmakers, along with several medical professionals and industry representatives, want to keep minors away from tanning beds, citing increased risks of skin cancer amongst young people who use tanning beds. (AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore, File)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. More than 45,000 U.S. men and 31,000 women will die this year from the disease. One person dies from melanoma every hour in the United States. That's why the O'connor Senior Center held their Fun in the Sun festival.

Baking in the sun is a favorite pasttime for many, but some are paying the price. Andrew Ward looks over Ruth Moore's arms for mysterious moles. She gets checked once a year. Ruth Moore says, "You never know what they're going to be."

He checked the spots on her hands asking if they've been there for a long time, if they've changed in any way or if they ever bleed. Nurse Practitioner Andrew Ward says, "It's one of fastest growing cancers right now, so it's important we get it checked."

Luckily, Ruth didn't find anything, but did walk away with something.
Ruth says, "It gives you a peace of mind."

Andrew found a couple of people with lesions and recommended they see their doctor. Ward says, "Hopefully with more education and more programs like this, we'll see more people putting on sunscreen and not tanning with tanning oils."

Check your skin at home when you get out of the shower, but a professional should look you over once a year.

Remember to wear sunscreen when you're in the sun. They recommend SPF 15 and 30 and re-apply after you get in the water.

Of course, don't lie in the tanning bed. Those who tan indoors are 74% more likely to develop melanoma.

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