Skin cancer can be both the easiest to treat if it has been detected early, or the most aggressive type which can spread to other body parts really fast if it is stage four.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed skin cancer type in the US. According to the statistics, one in five Americans develops melanoma during his/her life; 9,500 people in the United States of America are diagnosed with this type of cancer every day; non-melanoma skin cancers affect around 3 million people every year while more than one million of Americans live with melanoma.
So let’s see the list of the most common skin cancer warning signs:
#1. Moles that Change Their Color or Size
It is vital to check your moles regularly to avoid unpleasant surprises. A normal mole has smooth borders and is of a normal color. If it has transformed or become somehow ragged, scalloped or irregular, that may be the first warning sign.
Those that seem a bit ‘ugly’ to you have to be observed. If your mole or any other growth on the skin changes its color and becomes noticeably bigger or even raised, it has to be checked by a medical professional.
#2. New Moles
Many people notice new moles appear from time to time, while others don’t pay attention to them at all. However, it’s utterly important to watch any abnormalities or changes and get to know all of your freckles, marks, and moles not to miss the moment.
If you notice several new moles on your skin, there is no reason for panic. Just remember the place and try to check it every now and then. Another good advice would be to count all the moles and bumps you have to keep an eye on all of them.
#3. Ulcers or Lumps
Melanoma isn’t just about moles. Check your body to see whether there are any ulcers or lumps, which can also be the first signs of cancer. Ulcers can be often found around the eyes – they are pale and bleed quite easily. Lumps of red color can be the symptoms, too; however, they are difficult to find. Usually, they are located in the ears, on hands, and scalp and most frequently found in people who take antibiotics and other medicines which may suppress the immune system.
If your mole starts itching or changing, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor. If it left unchecked and untreated, there is a high risk of developing melanoma. The same can be said for any other blemish or spot that has been troubling you for some period of time.
#5. Black Spots in Private Parts
Skin cancers may appear in the most intimate places on your body as well. Check your private areas and inside the mouth to avoid the risk.
How to Recognize Skin Cancer?
Medical specialists at the American Cancer Society recommend using the rule called ‘ABCDE’ to identify bumps, moles or lumps that may be melanoma:
- A – stands for Asymmetry: The sides of your mole, lump or ulcer are uneven;
- B – stands for Border: The edges of your mole are ragged;
- C – stands for Color: Your mole is of different color, which can be either pink, red, blue, white, or black;
- D – stands for Diameter: Your mole increases in size and is bigger or about the size of an eraser on a pencil;
- E – stands for Evolving: Your mole is changing its color, shape, or size.
How to Avoid Skin Cancer?
Now that you know the main signs of skin cancer, you’d want to be quite careful about your skin. Follow these guidelines to avoid any risk:
- Prepare your skin every time you go out or decide to sunbathe;
- Avoid tanning booths;
- Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and hats;
- Examine your skin from time to time;
- Visit a dermatologist once a year to get a skin exam.