• Mind your moles: Look for changes that may signal cancer

    Cancer

    March 3, 2017

    da0d4da262e32345d5e4f923bde5e901_f2819.jpgWhen was the last time you got up close and personal with your moles? If it's been awhile, it's time to check them out. The more familiar you are with your moles, the more likely you'll notice if they start to look different—or if any new ones crop up.

    That's important because a change in a mole's size, shape or color is one of the main signs of melanoma—an aggressive type of skin cancer that, if not treated, can spread to other parts of the body and be deadly.

    Think ugly

    Nearly everyone has moles, and they're almost always harmless. Normal moles are usually oval or round, about 1/4 inch across, and the same color—brown, tan or black—all over.

    Potential signs of melanoma include moles that:

    • Look different from other moles (known as the ugly duckling sign).
    • Get bigger.
    • Have unusual shapes; uneven edges; or shades of colors, including white, red or blue.
    • Ooze, bleed or become scaly.

    Sores or bruises that won't heal or growths that feel itchy or tender can also signal melanoma.

    If you have any of these signs, talk with your doctor. He or she will likely do a skin exam and may suggest a biopsy in which a small amount of suspect tissue is removed and examined under a microscope for cancer cells.

    Treatment is almost always effective when melanoma is found early.

    Sources: American Academy of Dermatology; American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute

    • Loud Snoring May Be a Sign of Sleep Apnea

      If you frequently wake in the morning without feeling completely rested and have a difficult time staying awake during the day, or your bed partner complains about your loud snoring at night, you may have sleep apnea.

      read more

    • Cardiac Ablation Therapy at Bassett Healthcare Network

      Fred Hendricks lived with an abnormal heart rhythm for years and because his heart wasn’t working right, he had significant trouble getting around. Then he met Dr. James Storey and the rest of the electrophysiology team at Bassett, who fixed Fred’s bad heart using a technique known as cryoablation.

      read more