Basics to Detecting Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a common cause of cancer and blights the lives of millions of people each year. Even though the fair-skinned person has a higher chance of getting skin cancer, this disease can affect any person, no matter the skin tone. A well advised preventive measure is to protect the skin from excessive sun exposure, which might be done by wearing protective clothing or high factor sunscreen. It also benefits to self examine every month to check for potential signs of this disease.
The three main forms of skin cancer include: Melanoma, which is the most deadly form of the disease, and often affects the size or shape of pre-existing moles, although it does have the potential to emerge anyplace on the body. Squamous cell is known to appear most often in those areas that are exposed to the sun, which can result in flat, rough or scaly lumps. Basal cell is another form of skin cancer that is mostly noticed on the areas of the body exposed to the sun, and results in spots or bumps that seem waxy or shiny, pink or red and small or raised.
Knowing precisely what to search for and being entirely familiar with the body’s normal skin appearance came make it a lot easier to detect any changes that could indicate skin cancer.
If wish to attempt the self-examination, it is important to know exactly what to look for. Besides changing or newly formed moles, you might also wish to look for skin with a waxy-like complexion, flat, depressed or raised lesions, growths that seem translucent and soars that don’t appear to completely heal. Also, you should look for black or brown marks that appear beneath either the toenails or fingernails.
A self-examination might involve you standing in front of a full length mirror and doing a slow and gradual examination from head to toe. You might also wish to use a hand-held mirror to help in searching those areas that might be difficult to see otherwise. It is also important to inspect the scalp, between the toes and fingers, and the soles of the feet. It might also be practical to ask a close friend or relative for help in this examination.
Beyond the self-examination, you can also ask a doctor to carry out a full skin check which you may feel more comfortable with and as they have the experience and know exactly what to look at. A doctor can also give advice on any pre-existing blemishes, moles or freckles.