Skin cancer symptoms: The one piece of information that could save your life

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Skin cancer symptoms: The one piece of information that could save your life

Melanoma is very dangerous, as the cancer is more likely to spread to other body parts if not caught early enough. What's the one piece of life-sav

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Melanoma is very dangerous, as the cancer is more likely to spread to other body parts if not caught early enough. What’s the one piece of life-saving information you need to be aware of?

There are three layers of the skin, known as the epidermis, dermis and subcutis.

The epidermis – the top layer of skin – has three main type of cells: squamous cells; basal cells; and melanocytes.

The melanocytes make the pigment melanin, the American Cancer Society pointed out.

So, how can you tell if your mole is cancerous or not? The one piece of information that could save your life is revealed next.

The key questions to ask yourself is: “Does this spot look different from all of the other spots on my skin?”

This is known as looking for the “ugly duckling”, whereby the mole looks drastically different to other moles on your body.

Another key observation to undertake when looking for cancerous moles is called the ‘ABCDE rule”.

DON’T MISS

Be on the lookout for any spots/lesions/moles that have any of the following features:

  • A – Asymmetry This is where one half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
  • B – Border The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • C – Colour The colour isn’t the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • D – Diameter The spot is larger than 6 millimetres across
  • E – Evolving The mole is changing in size, shape, or colour.

Do keep an eye out for new moles, especially if it’s changing in size, shape or colour.

There are other warning signs to be aware of, including a sore that doesn’t heal.

A sign of melanoma includes the spread of pigment from the border of a spot into the surrounding skin.

An alternative warning sign could be redness, or a new swelling beyond the border of the move.

There may be a change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness , or pain.

Or a change in the surface of the mole could appear, such as scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a lump or bump.

If you’re concerned about any markings on your skin, book an appointment with your GP.

In order to lower your risk of developing melanoma in the first place, there are actionable steps you can take.

For instance, limit your exposure to UV (ultraviolet rays) by staying out of the sun and avoiding tanning beds.

This is because UV rays are the main cause of skin damage, which can alter the DNA inside skin cells.

When DNA damage affects the skin cell growth, melanoma skin cancer occurs.



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