Skin cancer is the greatest type of cancer. If you are aware of what to look for, you spot warning signs of skin cancer early. Finding it early, when it is small and has not spread, makes skin cancer much easier to treat. Use this article as a guide, to know the common signs of skin cancer and what to do.
What are the first signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer early stages symptoms
Skin cancers can look different. They might appear as a spot or sore, a lump, a red patch or even an itchy, crusty, bleeding patch. The earlier you detect skin cancer, the easier it is to treat. Skin cancers tend to develop most frequently on the skin that is exposed to the sun.
Detecting skin cancer early, it helps to know how your skin normally looks. That is the only way you will notice any changes more easily. You might also want to check your back or any other region you cannot see well. Checking your skin is very important if you are regularly in the sun working or for leisure. If you find any suspicious growth, have it checked by your dermatologist.
If you are at high risk of skin cancer or have ever been cured for some form of the disease, you should acquaint yourself with how skin cancers look. There are two types of skin cancer melanoma and non-melanoma.
Melanoma is an uncommon type of skin cancer that forms in the melanocytes. If you do not find and treat melanoma skin cancer quickly, it can become a problem and even more challenging to treat. These are the cells that generate your pigment known as melanin. However, the majority of skin cancers mean they do not involve the melanocytes. There are different types of non-melanoma skin cancer, namely
Nodular basal skin cell cancer: what to look for?
Pigmented basal cells skin cancer: what to look for?
Morphoeic basal cell carcinoma skin cancer: what to look for?
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer grows when one of the three types of cells make up your skin reproduce irregularly. As the cells develop and divide without stopping, they can spread to other places in your body through your lymphatic system.
General warning signs of skin cancer
Most doctors recommend the use of ABCDE rule to look for common signs of skin cancer. Follow the guideline below.
1. Asymmetry - one part of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
2. Border -The edges of the patch are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
3. Color -The color of the is patch not the same all over and is inclusive of shades of brown or black, sometimes with spots of pink, red, white, or blue.
4. Diameter - The spot is larger than a quarter inch across about the magnitude of a pencil eraser, even though melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
5. Evolving - The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Basically, to detect skin cancer check for any change in size, color, shape, or texture of a mole or other skin growth. An open or inflamed skin wound that does not heal might also be a potential sign of skin cancer.
Who is at risk of getting skin cancer?
Both non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma have many risks causing factors in common. Some factors you can manage whereas others you cannot.
How can you detect skin cancer?
Skin cancer detection and treatment
To diagnose skin cancer, a physician can examine your skin to determine whether your skin changes are likely to be skin cancer.
The doctor could also remove any suspicious skin for testing. Skin lab testing can determine whether you have cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer you have. If the doctor determines you have skin cancer, you may have additional tests to determine the stage of skin cancer.
Additional tests may include imaging examination to inspect the nearby lymph nodes for symptoms of cancer or a process to remove an adjacent lymph node and test it for signs of cancer.
Skin cancer treatment
Skin cancer treatment options and the precancerous skin lesions will vary, dependant on the magnitude, type, depth and where the lesions are located. Small skin cancers limited to the skin may not need treatment beyond an initial skin biopsy that removes the entire growth. Skin cancer treatment options include:
How to prevent skin cancer?
Some of the causes of skin cancer cannot be avoided, but some can be controlled. Below are measures you can take to prevent the occurrence of skin cancer: