Melanoma skin cancer often has warning signs.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “cancer”?
Perhaps you think of colon cancer, breast cancer, or leukemia.
Often you cannot see signs of these types of cancer without medical equipment.
According to a recent AARP article titled “4 Warning Signs of Melanoma That Are Easy to Miss,” signs are often more visible for melanoma.
These include rough-looking or asymmetrical moles with no defined border and growing or changing spots on the skin.
Looking over your body monthly can help you track any changes or concerns.
The AARP provides additional information on identifying early signed of melanoma.
What are they?
People who have more moles have a higher risk of developing melanoma.
Although the risk is higher, not every mole is an indicator of skin cancer.
Special attention should be paid to darker moles and those with recent changes.
Oddly shaped moles are often referred to as “ugly ducklings” and should be tracked.
If a mole looks distinctly different from your many other moles, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.
Although may melanomas come from damaged skin cased by ultraviolet light, not all are a result of exposure to the sun.
You cannot limit your body scans to only those sections consistently receiving direct sunlight.
Be sure to also look over the palms of your hands and the bottoms of your feet.
Melanoma may even develop under toenails or fingers as a dark streak.
In rare instances, melanoma can develop inside the mouth, on the eye, or on the scalp.
Virtually any place where you have skin should be checked.
Yes, there too.
Although melanoma is commonly thought to take the form of dark-brown moles, it can actually take on varying hues.
With deep pigmentation, it may have a blue tint.
Melanoma can look red as a result of an immune response.
Melanoma can also resemble a rash and look pinkish.
If you attempt to treat a rash with creams and it does not go away, you should visit your doctor.
Lack of color can also indicate the present of skin cancer.
Bleeding or Itching Spots.
You should consult a doctor if your mole become painful, tender or itchy.
Bleeding, oozing, and scaling may also be indicative of melanoma.
Although it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of skin cancer, it is a equally important to take preventative measures.
What can you do?
You can wear UV-blocking sunglasses, sun-protective clothing, and sunscreen.
If you are on certain medications for blood pressure, you may need to take additional precautions when you are outdoors.
Although skin cancer is often a result of sun exposure, this is not always the case.
It is important to get your skin checked often to identify and treat skin cancers like melanoma early.
Like estate planning reviews, you should preform skin checks regularly to prevent future problems.
Reference: AARP (July 9, 2021) “4 Warning Signs of Melanoma That Are Easy to Miss”