Millions of people all over the world are affected by skin cancer, making it the most common type of cancer. Research shows that each day in the U.S., over 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer. More than twice as many people per hour succumb to the disease. As a result, the best way to detect skin cancer at an early, treatable stage is to perform regular self-examinations and pay special attention to any changes in your moles. The first line of defense against skin cancer is you. Before visiting glow Pittsboro for diagnosis and treatment, let’s look at the skin cancer warning signs to worry about.
A chronic itch is a symptom of skin cancer. Insect bites are commonly blamed when a mole or other lesion itches, but this symptom can be an indicator of cancer. If you experience this sensation, especially if it is accompanied by a change in the way the skin looks, you should get it checked out as soon as possible by a medical professional.
Alterations to Fingernails and Toenails
Under your fingernails or toenails is a common place for skin cancer to manifest. Dark spots or streaks can be seen under the nail; these are most often melanoma. Keep a close eye on your fingernails. If you paint your nails, make sure to inspect them before each new coat. Nail polish can cause infections, so remove it from your nails before your appointment.
Post-Mole-Elimination Changes to your Skin
Having a mole removed does not guarantee that the adjacent skin is cancer-free. Cancer cells can invade and metastasize deep within the skin, well below the surface of the mole itself. Make sure to keep an eye on the removal scar and get it checked out if any strange spots or colors start showing up on or near it.
Eyeball melanoma is possible. Because of this, ocular melanoma (OM) is often not diagnosed until it has progressed significantly. The best way to spot OM early is with regular eye exams. Vision problems, such as blurriness or an increase in “floaters” (the squiggly cells you can visualize) or a dark spot or discoloration close to the iris, are common late-stage OM symptoms. OM is more likely to occur in older people.
In some cases, skin cancer can be identified by dry, uneven, or scaly patches on the body. If the area of the skin in question is still rough to the touch after using moisturizers, it may be cancerous. Possibly a precancerous form of squamous cell carcinoma called actinic keratosis (AK) is responsible for the spot (SCC). AKs are more common as people get older and tend to appear on the scalp and other areas of the body that are frequently exposed to sunlight.
While anyone is at risk for developing skin cancer, those with fair skin, a large number of moles, or a family history of the disease should be particularly vigilant in monitoring their skin for any warning signs. Please visit Sanford Dermatology for an evaluation of the first sign of skin cancer.