It is recommended to check for skin cancer symptoms throughout – especially when your skin is receiving a high amount of sun exposure (Ultraviolet light). Early detection of any anomaly on skin can help to immediately fix the underlying issues and start medication to get the cancer in control.
One of the most common cancers, skin cancer has different forms and melanoma is the most dangerous and the less common skin cancer.
Doctors recommend that you check your body once every month. While doing so, you must look for any moles that seem deformed or have changed in the last 30 days. Other abrasions to look out for includes:
- Liaisons that are asymmetrical
- Moles on our body are supposed to be smooth, if you see a mole that has notched edges and seem bumpy
- Different coloured moles, unlike the moles on rest of your body which are generally brown or black
- Changing moles or melanoma
A self check up must be conducted every month, and you must analyse yourself head to toe to stay one step ahead of any issues that may arise later. The most common way to detect cancer is if you see any abnormal moles or patches on your skin. In that case, you must immediately connect with your dermatologist to discuss the best course of action.
Moreover, there are different types of skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. When looking for cancer symptoms, you will notice abnormal moles if it is melanoma. However, another sign of early detection is enlarged lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are present underneath our skin – they are small, and are also known as immune cells. Most commonly present behind our neck, in our groin and under our armpit.
The more common type of skin cancer, Basal cell carcinoma may have various symptoms to look out for :
- A yellow area in and around the skin, akin to a scar
- An itchy liaison that is also red and raised
- Bumps on the skin which are translucent
- Any abnormal pink growths/moles which have raised and bumpy edges with blood vessels around the growth
- Any sores that remain open and not heal, but even when they heal, they return – might ooze or crust as well
Another common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma has few distinct symptoms:
- A patch that is bleeding and is scaly to touch
- A lump without a mouth or a lower center
- Wart like growth
- Sores that have been on the skin for very long and won’t heal – sometimes curtsy on the edges
However, dermatologist also recommend looking out for issues such as
- Any marking on the surface of the skin that hasn’t healed in a long time
- A mark which is distinct to anything else on the skin
- A sore which has not healed
- Any swelling outside the mole
- Redness or itchiness around the border of a mole
- A mole that is oozing or bleeding
On the other hand, there are few ways to distinctly detect melanoma – the test is called ABCDE. You can also use ugly duckling method to detect melanoma on your skin.
Moles on skin are common. However, dermatologists believe that the first sign is an abnormal mole on the skin (also called atypical mole, or dysplastic nevi).
Nevertheless, you can use the ABCDE method to check if you must plan a visit to the doctor or not. The ABCDE method stands for Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving.
Asymmetry – when the moles are a mismatch.
Border – the area around the moles are uneven and has borders which are notched.
Color – usually your moles should be brown in colour, however any abnormality means that the moles have a different colour such as red, blue or white.
Diameter – Have you seen a pencil eraser? A harmless mole is very small. But if the diameter of the mole is bigger than the rest – it is a case of alarm
Evolving – a mole that has changed in the last few weeks in shape, size or elevation.
Another method is the Ugly duckling method:
It is easier to use this method when your moles resemble each other in shape and size. However, if a mole particularly stands out that is an early sign of skin cancer.
You must immediately connect with your dermatologist if you see any signs which seem unnatural. Not all moles are cancerous.
As a precaution, you must wear sunscreen at all times – yes even when inside your room or under a shade. Cover your body when the skin is going to be exposed to the sun for longer periods than recommended. Check your skin from top to bottom once every month. However, if skin cancer is detected, we firmly recommend that you follow what your doctor says. We also believe that prevention is better than the cure, you must therefore look out for yourself at all times when in sun.