Cancer on the skin is visible, but you need to know exactly what to look for in order to determine the condition.
There are three main indicators that you need medical advice, and getting help early is vital if you want to treat skin cancer.
Early detection saves lives – those who wait and see if things get worse before seeking medical attention are putting their lives at risk. More than two people die of skin cancer every hour, according to a statistic by the Skin Cancer Foundation that runs The Big See campaign. When looking for signs of skin cancer, pay attention to any new, changed, or unusual moles or defects.
Is it new?
Any new moles or defects that appear after the age of 21 should be closely monitored.
Make a note of the time when you first noticed the new blemishes, and if they start to grow, see a dermatologist.
Does it change?
The charity advises: “Always check whether your spots change in color, shape, size, or texture.”
This includes thickening of the mark, which requires urgent medical attention.
Is it unusual?
“Look for spots that are unusual in the broad lines or that cause itching, damage, crusting or bleeding continuously for more than three weeks,” she added.
Also pay attention to whether the spot or mole is lighter or darker than other marks on your body. Does it have more than one color?
These are the three main indicators that indicate the possibility of developing skin cancer, so if any of them apply to you, make an appointment with your GP or dermatologist.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you have a head-to-toe examination of your skin every month. This includes the palms of the feet, the soles of the feet, between the fingers, and under the fingernails.
Sun exposure is one of the main causes of skin cancer, as ultraviolet (UV) rays destroy the DNA in skin cells.
Certain skin conditions can also increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, such as:
• dry, pigmented skin.