Skin Cancer Warning Signs

May 22, 2014

Knowing skin cancer warning signs enables a person to detect a problem while it is still curable. Many signs of skin cancer are unnoticeable until it is too late if careful examination is not done regularly. There are three types: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. Understanding all the types will prepare a person for better detection and ultimately more successful healing. Prevention is the key to lessening the worry about contracting this disease.
Defining the problem is just as important as detecting it. Cells damaged by the sun multiply and take over the surface causing unsightly blemishes, moles, and ultimately tumors. Unlike most cell diseases, the signs of skin cancer are visible making it more treatable. Change in surface color is a sign indicating very early or even false detection. Moles can be harmless, nevertheless should be monitored carefully for changes. Skin cancer warning signs include itchiness and uneven growth around a mole. The people in most danger of getting this disease have fair complexion and light hair. Due to the nature of the complexion freckles already exist therefore creating a starting point for the disease. Signs of skin cancer are harder to find in people with darker complexion due to the already darkened skin masking the infected areas.Once a problem is detected, call the doctor to get the problem medically treated. A dermatologist will best be able to determine whether the concern is truly signs of skin cancer or simply a change in body formation; to determine that a skin biopsy will be collected. The method will depend on the type and severity of the problem. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to disease and the doctor may require more intensive testing to ensure nothing is missed. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most widely diagnosed form of skin cancer attacking more than 1 million people a year. Pink or clear in color BCC is hard to detect therefore takes careful and through examination. Threat to the rest of the body is not common, however immediate treatment is crucial to eliminate the danger of further problems. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most diagnosed form, which can spread to other parts of the body if not treated early and effectively. SCC can look like a scab or tough area that doesn’t heal. This type is most prevalent in elderly fair-skinned men. Though melanoma is diagnosed the least it remains the most deadly due to the faint or even invisible warning signs. Undetected, melanoma can spread to the lymph system where it becomes deadly. Early detection is the key. A misshapen mole and discoloration around a mole are the most widely seen indications. Just like any other diagnosis, if the signs of cancer are found early the survival rate is very high. Other forms of cancer include Merkel cell carcinoma, dermatofibromasarcoma protuberans, Pagets disease and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. These are non-melanoma and are very rare, but keep the same guidelines about skin cancer warning signs.Protection from the sun is the best way to prevent this disease. This can be accomplished by applying sun screen, cover the body with a hat and long clothing, choosing building shade when sitting outside, and being aware of UV ratings for the day. Weather websites and possibly the local weather channel has information concerning the UV index for the day. Generally between 10 am and 2 pm is the most dangerous time to be outside. Likewise, the winter months are more dangerous than summer months due to the placement of the sun and the increase of cloudy days. Some cases of melanoma are linked to genetic dispositions and should be watched carefully. With the increasing depletion of the ozone and careless actions towards prevention and detection, the rates are rising and skin cancer warning signs should be a major focus in anyone’s life. 1 in 5 Americans will get some form of skin cancer and the rates are rising. The amount of people diagnosed with skin cancer outnumbers prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovarian, and pancreas cases combined. The ultraviolet (UV) index measures the level of damage the sun can give on a particular day. Other dangers that may indicate signs of skin cancer include taking certain medicines including contraceptives and steroids. Any disruption of the natural function of the body opens the door to infection and disease even if the intention is to heal. When a person is taking certain medications a doctor may advise not to go out in the sun for this reason.Other ways to decrease the chances of contracting topical diseases caused from the sun include wearing specially designed clothes with UV protectant in the fabric. Though this may be a pricey option, the alternative is less desirable. Swimsuits that cover from neck to knee are increasing becoming popular and are made of this material. Children’s swimsuits made from sun-protective fabric and designed to cover the child from the neck to the knees are popular in Australia. They are now available in some areas of the United States. When wearing sunscreen it is important to cover all areas including the top of ears, end of the nose, tops of feet, and back of the neck. The scalp is another place where sunburn can occur. Instead of covering the head with sunscreen a hat or scarf offers an easier option. Remember sunscreen is not only important in summer, but even more important in winter. UV blocking sunglasses protect the eyes from excessive exposure. Windows of the house can be covered with a UV blocking film or specifically designed windows can be purchased. In addition to prevention, once a month examination is the best way to catch skin cancer warning signs. Literally every inch of the body needs to be check every time. Mirrors or a spouse help with the hard to see areas like the back and neck. Anything scaly, lumpy, itchy or discolored is a need for concern.

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