Signs of skin cancer

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Skin cancer does not follow a textbook, but signs of skin cancer do exist. Dr. Juliana Basko-Plluska of Basko Dermatology explains what to look for when doing a skin check. 

Warning signs of skin cancer

  1. Change – if anything is changing, like rapid growth or changing color
  2. Bleeding – any skin concerns that bleed spontaneously 
  3. Open sore – if any open sore won’t heal

These could be signs of skin cancer, and a dermatologist should be seen. 

The ABCDEs of melanoma 

Dermatologists have a mnemonic for patients when it comes to looking for melanoma. 

  1. Asymmetry – one half of the mole or lesion does not match the other
  2. Borders – the edges of the mole or lesion are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred
  3. Color – the mole or lesion displays variations in color
  4. Diameter – the mole or lesion is larger than six millimeters in diameter
  5. Evolution – the mole or lesion changes in size, shape, or color. 

Dr. Basko recommends that anyone with a concern should seek out a dermatologist.

Prevention of skin cancer

Dr. Basko recommends avoiding UV radiation whenever possible. This is done by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and avoiding the sun during the harshest hours of 10 am to 2 pm.