Watch Out For Signs Of Skin Cancer

Watch Out For Signs Of Skin Cancer

If you have had bad sunburn as a child, this can dramatically increase your chances of getting skin cancer later on in life. It is important to have regular check ups on your moles in order to catch any melanomas before they kill you.

Australia and South Africa are the two countries in the world with the highest incidence of skin cancer. In South Africa alone there are 20,000 new cases of skin cancer reported every year. Not every mole is dangerous, but moles can indicate something deeper than sunburn.

Moles are caused by the sun and by genes. Staying out of the sun and away from sunbeds will help, but you can’t avoid your gene pool. Make sure to get mole mapped if there is a history of cancer in your family. This is a recording of the location of your moles as well as what they look like. Each time you go to get a new map, it is compared to the older maps to see if any changes have occurred. This helps to aid with early detection of any underlying problems. Your prognosis depends on the depth of the melanoma at diagnosis.

Your dermatologist should check your moles very six to twelve months. Check more often if a specific lesion is being monitored. You can also check for the following danger signs yourself:
Border: The edges are ill-defined or irregular.
Diameter: The mole is more than six millimeters in diameter.
Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole aren’t the same.
Elevation: The mole looks irregular if viewed from the side, for instance low on the one side and higher on the other.

If two or more of the above characteristics fits your mole, rather get it checked out. Most melanomas develop new and not from existing moles. The most common place for mole appearances are places where there was a lot of previous sun exposure. Melanomas can form anywhere from under the feet to under folds in the skin and even in your retina.

Always wear sunscreen when in the sun to protect yourself. Make sure that you put enough on. Here is a guideline:
Face = half a teaspoon
Neck = half a teaspoon
Chest = full teaspoon
Arms = half a teaspoon on each arm
Stomach = full teaspoon
Back = full teaspoon
Legs = full teaspoon on each leg

Watch Out For Signs Of Skin Cancer

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