You’ve heard me say before, that tragically, one American dies every 55 minutes from melanoma. That is almost 10,000 people a year. It is one of the reasons why we stress the importance of using sunscreen everyday, because we think the sun is so important in causing melanoma. So, people then ask me, “The sun is so important in causing melanoma, how can you get melanomas on parts of your body that have never been exposed to the sun. For instance, on your scalp, on somebody with a full head of hair, or even under your bathing suit, on people who just haven’t taken their bathing suit off at the beach?” That is a great question, and it has a very surprising answer. When the sun shines on the skin, it causes damage in all layers of the epidermis. Including the bottom layer, where there are information-gathering cells, called Langerhan cells, which can then migrate or move into the dermis and speak to the cells in the blood. They can speak to cells in the arteries, and the veins, and those cells then travel through the entire body, and they speak back in the reverse order. That is how they transmit the damage that has been done from the sun exposure to cells in parts of your body that have never been exposed to the sun. So, when you’re doing your monthly self-examination, regardless of where you see a funny or changing mole on your body, even if it’s in a place that has never been exposed to the sun, make sure you make an appointment and show it to your dermatologist, because you don’t have to have had sun on the area where you get melanoma, in order for it to occur.