Skin cancer is not something that should be taken lightly. If it is not treated in a timely fashion, it can lead to some serious and even fatal consequences. One of the interesting things about skin cancer is that it can be easily detected. And the sooner it is detected, the easier it is to treat. Unlike other forms of cancer, if skin cancer is detected and treated soon enough, it has an exceptionally high recovery rate.
This means that you need to be proactive. Look out for moles that can be potentially dangerous. There is a link between moles and skin cancer. You need to be doubly vigilant if skin cancer runs in your family. Being vigilant is not just avoiding sun exposure. It also means using strong sunscreen and periodically conducting at-home mole checks for melanoma.
It is important that you check your moles, especially if you notice a new mole develop or if you have a family history of melanoma. In truth, the vast majority of moles are benign. The ones that you should be worried about are those that look different than the other moles you have on your body or moles that you’ve developed as an adult.
Other things to look out for during at-home mole checks are moles that change in appearance. If you notice that your moles are itchy, are starting to bleed, are secreting a liquid or if your moles hurt, see our dermatologist immediately.
During your at-home mole check, focus on the parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun. This means checking your hands, your face and your head.
If your moles are asymmetrical (meaning that one-half of your mole does not match the other half), it could be potentially dangerous. If the borders of your moles are ragged or if they have an irregular shape, you will want to get this checked out. If your moles have multiple colors, meaning that in some parts it’s tan and in other parts it’s black, visit our dermatologist immediately.
If you have a mole that is larger than the eraser of a standard number two pencil, you should also have it looked at by our dermatologist. If you notice that your mole is evolving, like changing shape, it could be potentially cancerous.
The above-mentioned symptoms are referred to as the ABCDEs of early skin cancer detection. A stands for asymmetry, B stands for border, C stands for color, D stands for diameter and E stands for evolving.
While the above-mentioned criteria are important to keep in mind during your at-home mole checks, you also need to remember that melanoma moles do not necessarily fit these criteria. So if you notice a new mole, visit The Dermatology Office and have our dermatologist look at the mole and maybe even take a skin biopsy. Our dermatologist will be able to give you the information you need when determining how to treat the mole.
Skin cancer is a very serious thing. However, if it is detected early and it is treated immediately, it can usually be removed with little to no long-term side effects. We have locations in Poplar Bluff and Paragould. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.