Skin Cancer: Screening, Treatment, & Prevention
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates there are 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are found in over 2 million people every year, making it the most common form of cancer in the US. It’s important to know what skin cancer is, and how to prevent/treat/understand it.
Characteristics of the 4 types of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
- The most common form
- Open sores
- Red patches
- Pink growths
- Shiny bumps
- Scar-like areas
- Rough, elevated bump
- Red or brown patch
- Scaly or crusty patch
- Lower lip with blood-filled cracks
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- The second most common form
- Scaly red patches
- Elevated growth
- Wart-like crusty growth
- open sore that bleeds
- The most deadly form
- Changes in appearance
- Appears uneven
- variety of colors: black, pink, red, flesh-colored, and purple
Know Your ABCD’s
The characteristics of Skin Cancer. The elevation is another characteristic to keep in mind as well. If you notice any change in the size, shape, elevation, and/or color of a mole, this could be a strong sign of melanoma.
Benign moles are completely symmetrical. A cancerous mole does not look the same on both sides.
A benign mole has a smooth, clearly defined and often round border. Watch out for jagged, undefined, and/or blurry edges.
Most benign moles are all one color. Melanomas often can be different shades of brown or black, or red and pink.
If you have a mole that is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch), then it needs to be examined. Some melanomas start small and grow over time.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:
• Apply Sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Apply 1 ounce (2 tbsp) of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside
• Seek shade. The sun is strongest from 10 am-2 pm.
• Cover-Up. Use a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves.
• Avoid Tanning and UV Beds.
• Examine yourself Check your body once a month for signs of Skin Cancer