Healthcare, Mon Health System

Mon Health Cancer Center highlights Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Mon Health Cancer Center is recognizing May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month and sharing the fast facts to detect and prevent skin cancer.

As the weather begins to get warmer, people tend to spend more time outdoors and in direct sunlight. Skin cancer is one of the most diagnosed types of cancer in the United States each year, and if left untreated, can lead to serious complications or become fatal.

“Skin cancer comes primarily in three categories: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma, of which melanoma is rarer but much more deadly. Unfortunately, in West Virginia the incidence of melanoma has increased about 38% in the last two decades,” said Dr. Ihtishaam Qazi, medical director of Oncology for Mon Health System.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 and while some people are at higher risk for skin cancer, such as individuals with naturally lighter skin or eyes, anyone can get skin cancer. However, skin cancer is treatable and with early detection it is one of the most treatable cancers.

One of the simplest ways to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer is by covering up your skin when out in the sun and by wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid sun exposure as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.

“It is critical that people protect themselves from harmful UV rays and periodically survey their skin for evolving skin lesions,” said Qazi. “Please see your medical providers if you find anything suspicious on your skin, such as new, dark, or irregularly shaped or sized moles.”

Mon Health Cancer Center has a comprehensive team of providers that work with your care team to detect and treat cancers across the region. To learn more about the Mon Health Cancer Center, visit