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Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
- Understanding early skin cancer detection methods is the best way to avoid experiencing the more dangerous forms of the disease such as melanoma skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer
- Some skin cancer warning signs include a sudden unusual growth on the skin that may be translucent or pearly, a noticeable change in pigmented areas like moles, and a change in the texture of the skin in a particular area
- The ABCD method is helpful in early skin cancer screening, especially in dealing with the concern for possible cancerous moles. It includes checking for asymmetry, unusual border shape and color
Obviously, skin cancer is life threatening. But, if diagnosed early, there are certainly ways of reducing the disease’s impact. If you examine yourself regularly and properly, you can ensure early detection. Skin changes to look for include blemishes, discoloration, different types of moles or sores. Freckles and moles can often lead to skin cancer and preventative measures should be taken. Self examination is the best way.
The early signs of skin cancer include:
• A sudden and unusual growth on the skin’s surface which appears to be translucent, pearly, brown or black, tan or multicolored. The growth might increase over time in shape and size.
• A noticeable change in pigmented areas or moles. One should note the color changes, size, consistency and texture. You also need to pay attention to any irregularities in the border and shape of the mole. A growth or lesion that continuously hurts, itches, scabs, crusts, ulcerates, bleeds or erodes requires attention.
• An open wound or sore that is stubborn and doesn’t heal.
• Skin pigmentation can also be one of the earlier signs of skin cancer. Examine well to find any brown or red spots on your body that are scaly or rough in texture.
• Some scars might appear on the skin’s surface and can be cancerous. Try to understand the cause of the scar; if you feel it’s a mystery scar, you should see a doctor immediately.
• Any change in the texture of the skin can be cancerous. Look for lumps or bumps on the skin and see if there’s any discoloration.
Skin cancer isn’t always associated with UV rays or genetic factors. So, checking the skin’s surface on a monthly basis is absolutely necessary. .
The “ABCD GUIDE” helps in understanding the basic signs and symptoms of skin cancer. This is one of the most effective means of understanding skin cancer and is well recognized all over the world.
• A–Asymmetry Malignant moles are usually of irregular shape unlike the symmetrical and round benign moles. ‘Asymmetry’ means that the mole’s surface is not uniform and the different parts of the mole might differ in texture and color.
• B-Border It indicates the irregular and jagged border of a mole. Any mark or mole that can lead to cancer has an irregular border.
• C-Color A cancerous mole is usually of different visible colors. Some moles might be black or brown while others might be reddish or bluish in color.
• D-Diameter. Moles should not exceed 6mm. That’s the normal diameter of a mole. Anything larger should be looked at. You also need to be cautious if you have a mole for years and you suddenly notice a change in its diameter.
Fair skinned people are prone to skin cancer and are at a higher risk of having Melanoma than dark skinned people. Some other skin disorders like dysplastic naevi (large moles having irregular borders, patterns and colors), solar keratoses / sunspots and sebarrhoeic keratoses can also be regarded as warning signs for skin cancer.
In addition to these monthly check-ups, less exposure to the sun, cotton garments and proper sunscreen lotions can help prevent skin cancer.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Skin Cancer Prevention6 Oct 2008|