Skin cancer is the only one deadly cancer everyone one of us has the power to prevent. It is by far the easiest to detect. But, it’s also the number one common cause of cancer that doctors are not trained to catch.
You are at risk for skin cancer if parts of your body are repeatedly exposed to the sun. Protect yourself from having skin cancer by knowing the symptoms to look out for.
Skin Cancer Symptoms
Check to see if you have a new or changing bump, growth, lesion, mole, or rough patch of skin.
- a mole that itches or bleeds
- a fast-growing mole
- a scaly or crusted growth on the skin
- a sore that won’t heal
- a patch of skin that has changed color.
A normal mole is solid tan, brown, dark brown, or flesh colored. Its edges are well defined. It’s usually smaller than 1/4 inch in diameter and has a round or oval shape. It should be flat or dome-like.
The ABCDE Rule
This can help you remember what to look for when you’re checking moles on your skin. If you notice any of these signs, talk to your healthcare provider right away.
- A for asymmetry – Mole is not symmetrical. This means it’s not the same on both sides. If it was folded in half, the two halves wouldn’t match.
- B for border –Edges of the mole are blurry or jagged.
- C for color – Changes in the color of a mole. This could be darkening, loss of color, spreading color, or multiple colors.
- D for diameter – A mole more than ¼ inch in diameter.
- E for evolving – Mole looks different from others or is changing in shape, size, or color.
If you are a man, areas you should check for skin cancer are the head, neck, face, tips of the ears, hands, forearms, shoulders, back, and chests.
The back and lowers legs are where you should check frequently for skin cancer if you are a woman.
Moles can also grow in hidden areas of your body. This include between toes, on your scalp, or under a nail. If you notice a mole that has changed, or if you have a new mole that doesn’t look like your other moles, see your physician right away.