Early Warning Signs Of Skin Cancer

Among the many kinds of dreaded cancers, skin cancer is one of the most common worldwide. Over 9,500 people get the diagnosis every day in the US alone, which is quite alarming. Skin cancer itself has three specific types, and typically develops in areas that suffered excessive UV exposure.

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Skin cancer is an abnormal and out of control growth rate of skin cells that starts in the epidermal layer of the skin. Although not as common, it can also develop in areas that never get much sunlight, such as beneath your fingernails or in your groin area.

As previously mentioned, the three types of cancer are- Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. Anyone of any age and skin color can potentially get struck with skin cancer. Contrary to popular belief, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), even individuals with black skin can get it as well. The many signs and symptoms of skin cancer also vary from patient to patient, depending on the type and the stage at which it’s detected. People can also develop skin cancer due to genetics, (rare), or over exposing their skin to certain harmful chemicals.

As with any other cancer, the earlier it’s detected and treated, the greater the chances of defeating it successfully. Early detection will also reduce the chances of it coming back.


Important Preventative Tips

Luckily, all types of skin cancer are either preventable or can at least be significantly reduced by adhering to certain do’s and don’ts.

To start off, if you know you’re gonna be out in the sun for more than 5-10 minutes on your next mid-day outing, apply a high level sunscreen and apply it generously on your face and all areas that aren’t being covered by clothing. Wear a hat to protect your head, and shaded UV protective sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Another way you can better protect yourself is to avoid known cancer causing chemicals or agents, such as arsenals or cheap deodorants that are not approved safe by dermatologists. Also, avoid dry cleaning your clothes whenever possible, as the chemicals used on the clothes can affect your skin cells and eventually lead to skin cancer.

Listed below are some of the possible early warning signs of skin cancer.

New And Abnormal Markings On Your Skin

This is the major and main sign of skin cancer. Unless you recently got injured, poisoned, or can connect the new mark on your skin to some other cause, any new mole, sore, lump, bump, lesion or other marking that gradually grows bigger, gets worse, has various colors in it, oozes, bleeds, keeps reappearing or never goes away are highly suspicious and should never be ignored.

Dermatologists highly recommend that you examine your skin once a month or so. To do this, stand in front of a full body mirror and check every part of your body closely, including areas that don’t get much sun, such as in between your fingers and toes, armpits, and genital area. Familiarize yourself with how it looks and feels, the spots, various markings, etc. If you notice anything new and abnormal, see your doctor right away.

Itchy And Painful Skin Lesions

Many things can cause red, itchy and painful skin lesions or bumps, such as poison, acid or a severe allergic reaction. But if you suddenly notice it with no apparent cause that you or your doctor can think of, then this is a cause for concern and needs to be tested.

Sudden And Unexplainable Weight Loss

Under normal and healthy circumstances, weight loss is a desired goal and result of determination and lots of hard work. But if you haven’t been exercising, working out or dieting, yet you and your loved ones have noticed that you’ve been losing a considerable amount of weight without any effort at all, then this is another possible warning sign of skin cancer that demands immediate attention.

Excessive Fatigue

We all feel fatigued and sleepy from time to time to a certain extent, often caused by common things like stress, mental health disorders or just a simple lack of good sleep. However, if you’re suddenly feeling a lot more fatigued than usual everyday and nothing seems to be helping, not even that good ol’ morning cup of joe or caffeinated tea, then this can also be an early warning sign of skin cancer.

Just like sudden weight loss, excessive fatigue often can be a sign of another condition or illness. But it’s best and smartest to be on the safe side and get your skin examined as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

If you suddenly notice any changes on your skin or start to experience unusual symptoms that you didn’t previously have, it’s extremely important to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Untreated Melanoma is the most dangerous and serious type of skin cancer, as it will slowly spread to other areas of the body, including vital organs, at which point it becomes lethal.

Lastly, never self-diagnose yourself or someone you know, and articles are never a replacement for professional diagnosis. Although you may have one or more of the symptoms that are possible with skin cancer, it does not necessarily mean that you have it. Try to remain calm and level headed. If you have any concerns, get checked by a healthcare professional.

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