Skin cancer is very common nowadays in the US, with over 5 million people being affected by it every year. It is very vital to conduct a self examination of your skin from head to toe at least once a month. This will help you recognize early signs of skin cancer or any other allergies you might have. Skin cancers including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma often start as changes to your skin. They can be new growths or precancerous lesions, changes that are not cancer but could become cancer over time. They can also be cured if found and treated at the early stages.
Signs to recognize skin cancer:
You must watch out for any new moles or growths, or any new changes in existing growths. Also any lesion or injury that change and come with excessive itching and bleeding could be reasons to worry about. Studies have said that it is important to recognize melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Physicians have introduced two strategies to recognize skin cancer: ABCDEs and the Ugly Duckling sign.
What are the ABCDEs?
A for Asymmetry:
Normal moles are symmetrical. Draw an imaginary line and check if one half matches the other, and if it doesn’t it could be a warning sign!
B for Border:
If the border or edges of your moles are blurred or irregular, then its time to visit a dermatologist immediately. One of the symptoms of melanoma is uneven borders.
C for Color:
If your moles change in colour or have shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red, it is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.
D for Diameter:
If a mole is larger than a quarter inch in diameter, or lets say larger than a pencil eraser, than there’s reason to worry.
E for Evolving:
A mole that is evolving, or changing in colour, size, shape or begins to itch or bleed should be checked by a dermatologist. If a mole also appears to be raised or elevated, it could be a sign of melanoma.
Other symptoms of skin cancer could be scaly patchy lips, funnel shaped growth from the red base of the skin, scaly growth that bleed or develop a crust and more. Make sure you keep an eye on any irregular or abnormal symptom and immediately find a solution!