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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SKIN CANCER AND HOW TO SPOT IT FAST



 According to recommendations, everyone should practice monthly head-to-toe self examination of their skin, so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. To learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self examination if you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.
Performed regularly, self examination can alert you to changes in your skin and aid in the early detection of skin cancer. It should be done often enough to become a habit, but not so often as to feel like a bother. For most people, once a month is ideal! but ask your doctor if you should do more frequent checks.
You may find it helpful to have a doctor do a full-body examination first, to assure you that any existing spots, freckles, or moles are normal or treat any that may not be. After the first few times, self examination should take no more than 10 minutes – a small investment in what could be a life-saving procedure.

SHOULD SELF EXAMINATION BE DONE?
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, afflicting more than two million Americans each year, a number that is rising rapidly. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. When allowed to progress, however, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death.


WHO SHOULD DO IT?
You should! And if you have children, begin teaching them how to, at an early age so they can do it themselves by the time they are teens. Coupled with yearly skin exams by a doctor, self-exams are the best way to ensure that you don't become a statistic in the battle against skin cancer.

WHEN SHOULD IT BE DONE?
Performed regularly, self-examination can alert you to changes in your skin and aid in the early detection of skin cancer. It should be done often enough to become a habit, but not so often as to feel like a bother, as stated above. For most people, once months is ideal, but ask your doctor if you should do more frequent checks.
You may find it helpful to have a doctor do a full-body exam first, to assure you that any existing spots, freckles, or moles are normal or treat any that may not be. After the first few times, self-examination should take no more than 10 minutes — a small investment in what could be a life-saving procedure.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS TO LOOK-OUT FOR?
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Because each has many different appearances, it is important to know the early warning signs. Look especially for change of any kind. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a doctor right away, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the skin.

SOME WARNING SIGNS TO WATCH-OUT FOR
           A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
           A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
o          changes color
o          increases in size or thickness
o          changes in texture
o          is irregular in outline
o          is bigger than 6mm or 1/4", the size of a pencil eraser
o          appears after age 21
           A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

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