Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Nearly all skin cancers can be treated effectively if they are found early, so knowing what to look for is important. Skin cancer most often develops on areas of your body that get the greatest exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It often appear as a suspicious mole, freckle, or spot. There are three major types of skin cancer — Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and melanoma. Out of these, Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma appears on the skin as a new spot or growth or a change in an already existing mole. It is often fast growing and can spread to other parts of your body, including your bones, liver, and lungs to form a new cancer.
Melanoma skin cancer signs and symptoms:
Unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes or changes in the way an area of the skin looks or feels may be a sign of melanoma skin cancer.
Mole or skin cancer? How to spot it?
A normal mole will be even in color, quite small and will have appeared during the early part of your life. Most importantly, a normal mole will stay exactly the same; it won’t change or evolve. some moles can be present at birth but most appear during childhood or young adulthood. New moles that appear later in life should be checked by a doctor. Use the ABCDE method to determine if a mole or freckle may be melanoma.
A is for Asymmetry – means one part of mole or birth mark doesn’t match the others.
B is for border – means the edges are irregular, ragged, notch or blurred.
C is for color – means the color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown, black, pink, red, white or blue.
D is for diameter – means the spot is larger than one quarter(1/4) inch across, about the size of pencil eraser.
E is for evolving – means the mole is changing in size, shape or color.
These are the best ways to prevent skin cancer:-
- Use a sunscreen of at least 30 spf every day. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside.
- Avoid the sun between peak sun hours, which are 10am to 4pm. If you must be outside, wear sun glasses, hats and light clothing that will cover your skin.
- Do a self-examination of your skin at least once a month. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.
When to see doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any changes to your skin that worry you. Not all skin changes are caused by skin cancer. Your doctor will investigate your skin changes to determine a cause.