Skin cancer is scary. It’s gone from being a quite rare, unknown condition to a very real, horrifying one...The risks are very public, now, and the world is much more aware of this horrible disease. Did you know it's more common than all other cancers combined? The survival rate of skin cancer is high, though, if it is caught in its early stages, which is why everyone should pay close attention to their bodies! Here are the things you are looking out for...
Both sides of a mole should look the same, or at least very similar to each other. Check whether yours are symmetrical...my sister used to have a perfect circle mole on her arm! I was always shocked at how perfect it looked. Any asymmetry should be shown to your GP, especially if you aren’t certain if the mole used to be symmetrical.
The border of a mole is like a fence... it should remain in the same place, and be fairly smooth and continuous. A mole with a blurred border, or an irregular or jagged border, could be unhealthy. Look at how the borders of your moles are... they should stay exactly the same, including any puffiness.
Your mole should always stay the same colour, which tends to be in line with your skin colour. I’m very pale, and have very pale freckles and moles, whereas brunettes usually find theirs are much darker. The colour should not be uneven, or fading.
Larger moles tend to be the highest risk... make sure you keep an eye on yours to check if they are enlarging or growing. Generally, melanomas are at least 6mm, which is around the size of a pencil eraser. If you notice any growing, make an appointment with a GP or nurse.
While you are showering, look for any moles that didn’t used to be there. Most people will be born with their moles, and no more will develop, so if you start to notice a new one, make a doctor's appointment.
6. Risk Zone
Take extra care if you come from one of the risk groups... being very fair, pale skinned, have freckles, burn easily or have had skin cancer before, and make sure you mention these when you visit your doctor.
7. Odd Sensations
If your moles become itchy, crusty, sore, grows scabs or bleeds, it's time to get it checked out. While these symptoms could be harmless, especially if you have irritated the area or have sensitive skin, they could be warning signs too.
Most people will get harmless blemishes once in a while, but by getting everything checked out, you ensure you give yourself the best chance to fight skin cancer if you are unfortunate enough to get it. I check myself everytime I’m in the shower... I just do it while exfoliating and moisturizing! Have you got a tip for spotting skin cancer? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: Tja'Sha ♥