Skin cancer is the most common cancer. It can strike any individual at any age. Knowing how to spot skin cancer is going to help you get into the doctor much faster. The earlier they detect this cancer, the larger the odds of surviving it all together. Watch out for all these signs, checking for them daily. If you notice any of these warning signs, make an appointment with your physician.

First, look for any dark spots that may be melanoma. These may be small moles that have a tint of red in them. This is the most threatening form of skin cancer. If melanoma is left untreated, it could potentially spread to other parts of your body. You can easily spot melanoma because it changes colors or grows. While it starts out a flat mole, it may grow and become inflamed. You are much better off getting it removed then ignoring it; it could save your life.

Basal cell carcinoma is another form of skin cancer. This is the least dangerous form of skin cancer. It may appear red or pale in color. Most of the time it seems on rough or dry patches of skin. The carcinoma raises off the skin and is well-noticeable to the naked eye. This piece of skin cancer is not going to heal on its own; it has to be removed. It has slow growth on any skin that is left exposed to the sun. Wear protection to shield yourself from the UV rays at all times.

Another way to detect skin cancer is by a mole’s border. If it’s a healthy mole, it will appear light brown and have an even, round border. But cancerous moles like to stand out. They have odd-shaped borders, may appear dark red or blackish in color and are anything but small. Also, non-cancerous moles are smooth while cancerous moles are going to rough and tender to the touch. If you detect any of these while checking your skin, go to the doctor right away.

Likewise, you may have skin cancer if your mole is acting peculiar. It may be a mole you’ve had your whole life, but now it’s itchy or feels tender. The mole may have developed a scab, appears to be swelling or is increasing in size. It may have different shades or exceeds the size of a pencil’s eraser. All of these are red-flag warning signs that you have skin cancer. Don’t wait to get it checked out. Get into the doctor as soon as you can. Treatment is available that can save your life.

So how do you check your skin? The best method is stand in front of a full-length mirror. Undress and check every area of your skin, looking for anything that seems out of place. Lift your arms up and check the backs of your arms; turn and check the backs of your legs. Look at your back, neck and even your feet. Skin cancer doesn’t isolate any part of the body. You can’t be too old or young to get skin cancer; just recognize it when you see it. You’re the best advocate for your health. Now what to look for and your doctor can give you the best treatment. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

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