A monthly skin self-examinations to check for signs of skin cancer is recommends by the American Cancer Society.This involves examining all parts of your body for new growths and other skin changes. The earlier
signs of skin cancer are detected the better chance you have that it will be
is one of the most common skin cancer. the first signs of skin cancer are a change on the skin such as a growth or a sore that does not heal. Sometimes there may be on the
or a small lump present. These lumps can be red, reddish brown or smooth, shiny, and waxy looking. Other signs of skin cancer may be flat red spots that are rough or scaly.
Melanin is the dark, protective pigments of the skin. The amount of melanin a person has determines their skin color. The less melanin you have, the lighter your skin color. The amount of melanin present is a significant factor in the development of skin cancer. In other words, light-skinned people have a much higher risk of developing the disease than those with darker complexions.
The most serious type of skin cancer is malignant melanoma. This is a deadly tumor or growth caused when cells multiply out of control, destroying healthy tissues. Melanoma originates in the cells that produce melanin. Although most melanomas arise in the skin, they may also appear in other areas of the human body.
The incidence of new cases of
melanoma. This is a deadly tumor or growth caused when cells multiply out of control, destroying healthy tissues. Melanoma originates in the cells that produce melanin. Although most melanomas arise in the skin, they may also appear in other areas of the human body.
The incidence of new cases of malignant melanoma has risen for the past 70 years at a rate of 4 percent a year. Melanoma occurs most often in white adults over the age of 40. Victims typically have a lot of moles, light complexions, red or blonde hair, and skin that freckles and burns easily.
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
Women most frequently develop melanoma on the arms and legs. Men typically get it in the area from the shoulders to the hips, on the neck, or head. Warning signs of skin cancer such as melanoma includes a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole; or if a mole feels hard, itchy, swollen, lumpy, or sensitive to the touch. Melanoma is diagnosed by biopsy of the suspicious mole or area of the skin.
Stages of skin cancer
Melanoma can be staged such as the following:
* Stage I- cancer is in epidermis or dermis but has not extended to lymph nodes nearby; the malignant tumor is less than 1.5 mm in thickness
* Stage II- the malignant tumor is 1.5 to 4 mm thick and has extended to the lower section of the inner layer of the skin but not into any tissues farther under the skin or lymph nodes close by
* Stage III- the malignant tumor is over 4 mm thick, has spread to the body tissues below the skin, more tumors have developed, the tumor has spread to lymph nodes nearby
* Stage IV- the tumor has invaded other organs or distant lymph nodes not in the vicinity of the original tumor
Skin cancer treatments include several types of surgeries that are available to remove the cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatments are usually preformed in the doctor's office so a hospital stay is not required.
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease when it is detected. The following medical procedures may be needed after signs of skin cancer are diagnosed malignant including the removal of any cancer remaining after the biopsy and wide surgical excision to remove some of the skin surrounding the tumor. Skin grafts may be necessary to replace the skin that has to be removed.
As you can see from the above warning signs of skin cancer and the treatments needed to rid your body of the disease, the best solution is in prevention. Keeping a close watch on any moles you have helps reduce your risks.
People with 50 or more moles are 3 times likely to develop melanoma. A medical study also determined that having an abnormal looking mole doubles a person's risk of developing skin cancer.
Have a dermatologist or your doctor annually examine, photograph, and track any moles or age spots for suspicious changes. Another preventative step in avoiding skin cancer that is not used near enough is using sun block.
Typically most sun lovers apply sunscreen only in the summer. However, the sun's UV rays are dangerous year round. Sun protection should be applied in the spring, winter, and fall months as well as summertime. To avoid the signs of skin cancer ever appearing, make it a habit to protect yourself and your children from the sun anytime outdoor activities are planned, rain or shine.