Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. Almost 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer before they reach the age of 70. Identifying the skin cancer at an early stage will help make it much easier to treat. Here are some of the important signs of skin cancer to watch out for:
The most common types of skin cancers are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These skin cancers occur on parts of the body exposed to sunlight. Protecting your skin by using sunscreen and wearing cover-up clothing whenever you step out into the sunlight can help reduce your risk for these types of skin cancer.
Signs of basal cell carcinoma:
- A yellow or pale, flattened and firm skin lesion that appears similar to a scar.
- An itchy, raised reddish patch
- A translucent shiny bump on the skin that might have blue, black, or brownish areas
- Open sores that don’t heal or heal up and then open up again.
Signs of Squamous cell carcinoma:
- Scaly red patches that with a crust that might bleed
- A raised growth with a central lower area
- A wart like growth
Melanoma: This is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Use the ABCDE rule when looking for signs of a melanoma
- A for Asymmetry - One side of the lesion or mole appears different from the other
- B for Border - The borders of the lesion are irregular.
- C for Color - The lesion does not have a uniform color.
- D for Diameter - The lesion is more than 1/4th of an inch in diameter.
- E for Evolving - The lesion appears to be evolving or changing in size, shape, and color.
Examine your skin at least once a month in a well-lit room by standing in front of a fulllength mirror and using a handheld mirror to look at hard-to-see areas on your body. Look for any new spots or growths, any old skin lesions that change in appearance, or change in color of the skin surrounding the lesion. If you notice any of these signs, visit your physician for an accurate assessment and treatment recommendation.
At North Central Surgical Center, our mission is to treat each and every one of our patients, and their families, as if they were our own family member. Each patient, each family, each and every time.