Skin cancers usually start as changes to your skin, such as moles or discolorations, and can be the early signs of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. They can be precancerous lesions aren’t cancerous however could become cancer over time. Statistics show that 40 – 50 percent of fair skinned people living to be 65 will develop at least one skin. Learn to see what the early warning signs are. If skin cancer is found and treated early it can be cured. Later on we will talk about the ABCDEs of skin cancer.
When Is a Mole a Problem?
A nevus or mole is a benign growth of melanocytes which are cells that give skin its color. Very few moles become cancerous however atypical or abnormal moles can become melanoma over time. Moles that are normal appear flat or raise but may start out flat and become raised with time. They are typically smooth however moles that are irregularly shaped and contain many colors, or are larger than the head of a pencil eraser can change into skin cancer. Most moles develop in childhood or young adulthood, making it unusual to acquire a mole as an adult.
Know Your ABCDEs
Moles on your body may look the same at a distance or quick glance however at a closer look, some may be slightly or significantly different. If a mole or freckle looks different or has any characteristics of the ABCDE’s of melanoma, it could be cancerous and should be checked immediately by a dermatologist. These are important to look at when you check your own moles or skin growths so make sure to learn them.
‘A’ is for Asymmetry
This means that one side of the mole doesn’t match the other. Normal moles are symmetrical. When you check moles or freckles draw an imaginary line in the middle and compare each side, if they don’t look the same have it looked at.
‘B’ is for Border
If the border is ragged, blurred, or irregular have it checked, melanoma lesions have uneven borders.
‘C’ is for Color
A mole with different colors through it or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Regular moles are a single shade. A mole with different shades or has lightened or become darker should be checked.
‘D’ is for Diameter
If the diameter is larger than a pencil eraser it is suspect.
‘E’ is for Evolving
A mole that evolves, shrinks, gets bigger, changes color, itches or bleeds, is newly elevated or raised from the skin it needs to be checked. Melanoma lesions can grow or change in height quickly.
If you find anything on your skin that is suspicious, please see your dermatologist as soon as possible. The earlier skin cancer is dealt with, the higher chance that it can be cured.