Skin cancer is just like any other form of cancer. When it is caught at an earlier stage, it is highly curable. One of the most common diseases that affect at least 2 in 3 Australians before they hit the age of 70 years is Alzheimer’s.
Have you ever wondered if there are any warning signs for skin cancer that could be subtle yet difficult to identify?
Given below are the 7 most common warning signs for skin cancer that you need to look out for.
- Changes in the appearance of moles or lesions.
Use the ABCDE of Melanoma rule to check for any changes in our skin that might contribute to skin cancer. You will be able to detect any changes in your skin that may be cancerous or attributed to melanoma, thus making early detection and treatment vital to high curability and increased chances of complete recovery. The ABCDE rules of melanoma are as follows:
- A – Asymmetry
One half of a mole or spot does not match with the other half.
- B – Border irregularities
Edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
- C – Colour
Colour variations from one area to another.
- D – Diameter
The diameter of the mole or spot is larger than 6 mm, which is about the diameter of a pencil.
- E – Evolving
A mole or spot looks different from the rest in size, shape or colour over time.
If you have a spot, mole or blemish that seems to be:
- Rapid changes in colour, shape, or size
- Oozes, bleeds, or becomes crusty.
- itching, or is tender or painful.
- Having an irregular shape
- It becomes red or swollen at its edges or beyond.
Then you should consider getting a get a professional skin check in Melbourne.
- Post-mole-removal changes to your skin.
Even though a mole has been removed, it does not guarantee you are no longer cancer-free in that region. Cancer cells have the ability to penetrate deep into the skin, considerably deeper than a mole on the surface. Pay attention to the scar from the removal, and have any strange patches or colours that occur on or around it examined.
- Fingernail and toenail changes.
Skin cancer might grow in unexpected areas, such as under your fingernails or toes. These melanoma-like occurrences might be identified as dark spots or streaks below the nail. Keep an eye on your nails and if you wear nail polish, check your nails between applications.
- Persistent timples or sores.
Skin cancer can sometimes appear as a pimple-like pink or red lump. This bulge, however, will not go away with time. Skin cancer could also look like or cause unhealing sores and ulcers.
- Impaired vision.
Melanoma may form inside your eyes. Ocular Melanoma (OM) can be difficult to diagnose until it has progressed to the point where symptoms appear. The most reliable approach to recognizing OM early is via routine eye examinations. Blurred vision, enlarged “floaters” (the squiggly cells you may see moving in front of your vision), and dark or discoloured areas close to the iris are all signs of OM. With age, the chances of developing OM increase.
- Scaly patches.
Some types of skin cancer can cause dry, rough, or scaly areas of the skin. If an area of skin remains scaly or rough to the touch after using moisturising lotions, it might be malignant. This kind of lesion is known as Actinic Keratosis (AK), which is a precursor to Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). AKs occur in body areas that are exposed to more sunlight, like the scalp, and they grow more prevalent as people get older.
- Persistent Itching
If you are experiencing an itching sensation that won’t go away, it might be a sign of skin cancer, which is often mistaken for bug bites. A mole or lesion that is newly itchy or itching continuously or intensely, may have turned cancerous. Do not ignore this sensation, especially if it is accompanied by a change in appearance in the region of skin in question, and seek professional assessment as soon as possible.
Skin cancer is highly treatable and curable if any cancerous growth is detected at an early development stage. The bottom line is that you need to enjoy the great outdoors and do what is important to you in your life, but always keep skin cancer prevention in the back of your mind by taking a closer look at your skin. A little self-love and care never hurt anybody.