It is very important for you to keep track of your moles and to notice any changes that happen to your skin. Skin cancer can be very serious and potentially fatal illness for some people, but is usually easily detectable when you know what to look for.
There are several types of skin cancers, the definition being cancer that forms in the tissues of the skin.
Although most of the skin cancers develop in older people with years of exposure to the sun, or in people who have weakened immune systems, anyone can get skin cancer. When skin cancer is found early, it can be treated more easily.
Below are some helpful self-examination tips for skin cancer and to know when to contact your doctor. Self-examination is part of prevention, and you should always watch your moles and and be aware of any changes.
Are Moles Harmless?Typically, the moles we have, develop when we are young children or young adults, however, it is also possible to get new moles as we get older.
Most of the time, these moles are always harmless, but sometimes for some people, new moles as well as old one's could be a potential sign of skin cancer.
Ideally it is recommended to look for new moles every month.
It is important to notice any new or old moles growth so you can keep a check on them. By checking your skin regularly, you'll learn what is normal for you and be able to detect any changes easily.
Again, most moles are harmless, and you don't have anything to worry about with them. However, if you do have a lot exposure to the sun, you really must watch for any new moles that develop.
Changes In A MoleLook at the shape, color, and size of each mole you have. Most harmless moles are no larger than a pencil dot and are circular shaped.
As far as color goes, moles can be brown, black or even red. Also, a normal mole should be just one color, so if you notice that it has two or more colors, again you should see a dermatologist or doctor just to be on the safe side.
If you notice your moles to be getting larger or changing color very quickly, you should immediate check with your dermatologist or doctor.
Images below are from Wikipedia
|Skin Cancer with color differences|
|Normal mole with no color differences|
|Skin cancer with diameter change|
|Normal mole with no diameter change|
|Skin cancer with uneven borders|
|Normal mole with border|
|Normal mole with no asymmetrical|
Keep Note Of Any Mole ChangesMoles will of course grow and change a little, but you're checking for cancerous changes, so make sure that you are noticing these changes, if any. If the mole or moles have changed, you should write down what has changed so you can tell your doctor precisely what has changed in the moles appearance.
Photograph the mole if you can and try to compare it with general family photos you have already taken in the past. This will help show the change in appearance and also give a good idea of time frame, which will help your doctor with the diagnosis and treatment if any is needed.
Contact your doctor and make an appointment if you feel any concerns.
Make sure you bring your notes with you so you can show your doctor as mentioned before. Your doctor will know what to do and may recommend a skin specialist so the specialist is going to be the person to help you, if that is what is recommended.
If one of your moles comes back suspicious, do not freak out. More testing may show some irregularities, but it may not be something to worry about. If a mole comes back cancerous, try to remain calm. There are many forms of skin cancer, so try to find out more about the kind you have and participate in whatever treatment your doctor recommends. Remember when skin cancer is found early, it can be treated more easily.
In conclusion, doctors tell their patients to regularly check their skin for a good reason; skin cancer is nothing to take lightly.
Use the advice above as a monthly guideline for things you should watch for and things that need to be examined.
Learn more about skin cancer here http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/melanoma