The Signs of Skin Cancer

Published on October 11, 2018
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Skin cancer is the growth of abnormal skin cells that cannot be controlled. It happened when DNA damage to the skin cells goes without repair. This could result in genetic defects or mutations that make the cells of the skin multiply quickly and create malignant tumors. Typically, this is caused by the sun’s rays or tanning beds.

When it comes to skin cancer, no one is exempt. You should check yourself over at least once a month, so you can detect any abnormalities that could be cancerous or precancerous. When it is found and removed early, it is usually curable.

When performing an examination on yourself, look for the following:

  • Skin growths that appear to be growing in size.
  • Pearly, translucent, black, brown, tan, or multi-colored growths.
  • And moles, birthmarks, or beauty marks that change colors, textures, or are bigger than the eraser on a pencil.
  • Spots or sores that itch, scab, bleed or hurt.
  • Open sores that don’t heal within three weeks,

If you find any of these on your body, consult a dermatologist immediately. When you see a physician that specializes in diseases of the skin, they can check for and handle the issue efficiently.

Using protective measures is the best defense against skin cancer. Almost 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are due to UV radiation emitted from the sun. SPF 15 or higher is recommended for daily use when going out and about in the sun. Of course, using sunscreen isn’t the only protective measure that you should be using. Try to stay in the shade, avoid burning, cover up, and avoid tanning beds!

Some people think that having skin that naturally darkens means that they are exempt from the concerns of skin cancer. But, as Dr. Rapaport explains in the Times of Israel, it is important “not to mistake “tanning well” for a special God-given exemption from skin cancer.” Both those with fair skin that burns and those with skin that tans easily should check regularly for the signs of skin cancer, especially if they are in the sun on a regular basis. Even if a growth looks harmless, it could pose a threat to your health if it is not checked by a professional. Skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat but only when it is detected early.

Skin cancer treatments can typically be administered on an outpatient basis in an office or clinic. Local anesthetic is often used, and pain and discomfort are minimal both while the procedure is happening, and after it is complete. Most commonly, Mohs Surgery is performed. It is used to treat a lot of SCCs, in addition to some melanomas and basal cell carcinomas. If it is around the eyes, lips, scalp, fingers, toes, genitals, or nose this is the go-to procedure. Other treatment options include excisional surgery, cryosurgery, electrosurgery, laser surgery, radiation surgery, PDT, or topical medications.

Take the time to check yourself any chance you get, and love the skin you are in. If something doesn’t seem right, it is in your best interest to consult a professional for a consultation in a timely manner.

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