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Skin Cancer Awareness May 2024: Recognising the Signs

Skin Cancer Awareness

May marks Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an opportune time to delve into the importance of early detection and understanding the warning signs of this prevalent, yet often preventable disease.

Every year, millions of individuals worldwide are diagnosed with skin cancer, making it the most common form of cancer globally. However, armed with knowledge and vigilance, we can significantly reduce the impact of this disease on our lives. It is crucial to educate ourselves about the early signs and symptoms of this prevalent condition. Skin cancer can manifest in various forms, and being able to identify its warning signs early can be lifesaving.

1. What Does Skin Cancer Look Like at the Beginning?

At its onset, skin cancer may appear as a change in the skin’s texture or colour. This could include the development of a new mole or an existing mole that changes in size, shape, or colour. Additionally, skin cancer may present as a sore that does not heal, or a spot that bleeds, itches, or becomes tender.

2. What Does Pre-cancer Look Like on the Skin?

Precancerous lesions, also known as actinic keratoses, often appear as rough, scaly patches on the skin. These patches may range in colour from pink to red or brown, and they typically develop on areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, scalp, and hands.

3. What Are the 7 Warning Signs of Skin Cancer?

At Private Medical Clinic we advise individuals to remember the “ABCDEs” of skin cancer when conducting self-examinations:

  • A: Asymmetry – One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • B: Border – The edges of the mole are irregular, blurred, or jagged.
  • C: Colour – The colour of the mole is not uniform, with variations in shade or the presence of multiple colours.
  • D: Diameter – The mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser (6mm).
  • E: Evolution – The mole evolves in size, shape, colour, or texture, or exhibits any other changes over time.

4. What Does First Stage Melanoma Look Like?

In its early stages, melanoma may appear as a new mole or a change in an existing mole. It often presents as an asymmetrical mole with irregular borders and uneven colouring. Melanomas can vary in size and colour, ranging from brown to black, red, blue, or white. Additionally, melanomas may evolve over time, with changes in size, shape, or elevation.

Being vigilant and regularly monitoring your skin for any changes is key to detecting skin cancer early. If you notice any suspicious lesions or abnormalities, it’s essential to consult with a doctor promptly for evaluation and possible Biopsy. Early detection and treatment significantly increase the chances of successful outcomes in skin cancer management, that is why Skin Cancer Awareness is so important!

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