There are three main types: basal cell, squamous cell and malignant melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are typically found in sun exposed areas- think face, chest and arms. They tend to be red, rough to the touch, or sometimes bumps that can even look similar to acne that don’t resolve.
The one skin cancer that is potentially life threatening is Malignant Melanoma and can be found anywhere on the body, even in non-sun exposed areas- like between the toes, palms of the hands, bottoms of the feet, under the nails, genitals, and even the eyes.
-Warning signs of Malignant Melanoma-
*A QUICK WAY TO REMEMBER: ABCDE
A-asymmetric (inability to fold in half and look evenly)
B- border (irregular or jagged border)
C- color (multiple or variance in colors- look for black, purples, whites all within the lesion)
D- diameter (larger than 6mm in width)
E- evolving (has this lesion been changing or did it suddenly pop up?)
Other things to watch for:
Sores that don’t heal
Changes in texture, oozing, or bleeding
Symptomatic lesions (pain, itch, swelling)
We encourage yearly skin checks or more often if you have several moles or a personal or family history of skin cancers. You should examine your own body monthly for any changes.
Photos are also a great way to document any changes of a spot you’re unsure- with a ruler next to it is even better! Any time you are not sure, it’s always recommended to seek evaluation from a medical professional immediately. Early detection can save lives!
By Nicole Lyons
September 26, 2019