Skin Cancer symptoms can vary greatly, but often include some kind of growth on your skin. These can look like irregular moles, lesions, scabs, dark spots or patches, and lumps.
There are 4 main types of Skin Cancer
• Basal cell carcinoma
• Squamous cell carcinoma
• Merkel cell cancer
Be sure to do regular self exams for any new or different-looking growths on your skin.
When checking moles, remember the ABCDE rule:
Asymmetry– if your mole is not a regular round or even shape
Border – if the border is ragged, notched, uneven, or blurred
Color – if the color is black, brown, tan, or possibly white, gray, red or blue
Diameter – if the diameter is larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolving – if the mole is changing in size, color, shape or appearance
Also check for moles that are bleeding or heal poorly or any new or unusual-looking moles.
CBCC Dermatology provides complimentary skin cancer checks for adults ages 18 and older during the month of May, skin cancer awareness month.
Biopsies are performed on small skin specimens to check for skin cancers such as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are at greater risk.
Regardless of whether you have any of the risk factors listed above, reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can lower your chance of getting skin cancer. Most people get at least some UV exposure from the sun when they spend time outdoors, even on cloudy or rainy days. You can best protect yourself from harmful rays by using sunscreen daily. Most people use only a fraction of the amount of sunscreen they should be using (about 2 ounces, or a shot glass full).