Learning the Symptoms of the Most Dangerous Type of Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. However, with constant vigilance, it can be detected early and can therefore be successfully treated. Knowing where a Melanoma occurs and the symptoms that accompany it will enable one to be more observant and sensitive to one’s body.
Where to Find Melanomas
Melanoma can manifest on any part of the skin. However, skin that is most exposed to sunlight have higher risk of developing melanoma. It appears most commonly on the upper back for both men and women and on the legs for women. In some cases, Melanoma also grows on hidden surfaces such as the palms, soles and nail beds, but these cases are more common for those with darker skin. Body cavities such as the mouth, the rectum and the vagina are also at risk for skin cancer. For older men and women, skin cancer manifests firsthand on the face. However, for older men, the neck, scalp and ears are the most common sites on which skin cancer begins to grow.
Signs to Watch Out For
Being vigilant about moles and other marks on the skin is just as important as doing a routine breast examination, mammogram or any other routine checkup needed to diagnose any form of cancer. There are several warning signs to watch out for if one wishes to detect the early onset of cancer such as the growth of a new mole, drastic changes in an existing mole or any surface of the skin.
Existing moles? Keep a close watch on them!
A mole may be there for years and not show any outward sign of Melanoma. However, one should remain observant and regularly check for any changes in size, color and texture of the mole, for example, a previously flat mole or birthmark begins to thicken or rise and if its surface suddenly begins to feel scaly or crusty. If a mole is getting bigger, changing shape or color, becoming itchy or painful and, in extreme circumstances, bleeding, one must immediately seek medical attention and have it checked for possible cancerous Melanoma.
Other Melanoma Symptoms
There are also other symptoms of Melanoma that are not easily detected by sight, which may possibly mean that the skin cancer is in a more advanced, metastatic state. Among these symptoms are the appearance of lymph nodes, particularly in the armpit and the groin, unexplained weight loss, chronic cough, headaches, melanosis or graying of the skin, seizures and the appearance of a lump under the skin.
In conclusion, learning the symptoms of skin cancer is highly important in early detection and, ultimately, successful treatment. Regularly observing for these warning signs and being more sensitive to one’s body makes a whole world of difference.