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Here in Florida, the risk of skin cancer is all too real. Our state has the second-highest rate of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, in the nation. That’s why frequently inspecting your body for any new or concerning moles or spots is crucial.

However, many people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for or what to do if they think they may have melanoma or other forms of skin cancer


Be aware of the symptoms, which include a change in the size, shape or color of a mole on the body, sores that don’t heal, redness or swelling around moles and itchiness or tenderness in a mole.

Inspect your skin often for these symptoms, especially if you’re regularly exposed to direct sunlight.

What to do Next

Think you may be at risk? It’s important that you act fast, because skin cancer can be easily treated if caught early.

Be sure to show your doctor any questionable spots, even if it’s only a slight change. Some cases may require a prompt surgery to limit the risk of the cancer spreading.

Treatment Options

Surgery is an effective option for treating most stages of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. Since the roots of skin cancer can be more widespread than what appears on the surface, Mohs surgery is recommended to assure that all the cancer is removed the first time. Mohs is also the best way to remove skin cancer in areas where surgery may be more difficult, such as the hands, face and neck, which are also the most common areas to get skin cancer.

Dr. David Weinstein, a dermatologist at UCF Health, is highly trained in this technique. The UCF Lake Nona office features a Mohs surgery center dedicated to helping patients with skin cancer.

Remember to inspect the body regularly, visit a doctor with any uncertainties and act fast if you notice something that does not seem right to you.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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