Tags: Cancer | Skin Cancer | Symptoms | Health

Do I Have Skin Cancer? 12 Symptoms Women Should Never Ignore

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:11 PM

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Although not all skin cancers are considered life threatening, more than 65,000 people worldwide die every year from skin cancer. Early detection and treatment is the key thus symptoms of skin cancer should never be ignored.

Two types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are considered the least dangerous and respond very well to treatment. A third type of skin cancer, melanoma, can be life threatening and 75 percent of skin cancer deaths are attributed to this type. In addition, several other rare skin cancers can develop in the blood vessels, hair follicles and oil glands.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. But it can also form on areas that rarely see the light of day — your palms, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and your genital area."

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Here are 12 symptoms of skin cancer that should not be ignored:

Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1. A persistent open sore that bleeds, forms a crust and then re-opens to bleed again. A basal cell carcinoma does not heal and will continue to remain irritated.

2. A reddish patch of skin that may itch or feel irritated at times. The irritation may subside and then return.

3. A shiny raised area of the skin that can be red, brown, white, black or even milky in color depending on a person's natural skin pigment. This symptom may be confused with a mole but if it is a new development, it should not be ignored.

4. A pinkish round growth that is raised on the edges and has a crusty, indented center.

5. A patch of skin that looks and feels like a scar. According to SkinCancer.org it can be "white, yellow or waxy, and often has poorly defined borders; the skin itself appears shiny and taut. This warning sign may indicate the presence of an invasive BCC that is larger than it appears to be on the surface."

6. A growth that looks like a crusty wart. This raised growth can occasionally bleed and does not heal.

7. A scaly red patch that is not symmetrical and intermittently bleeds and crusts over.

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Melanoma: Medical professionals have developed an acronym, the ABCDEs of Melanoma, to assist in the identification of skin cancer. A melanoma will often look like a mole or brown patch and the following symptoms should not be ignored:

8. Asymmetry is a symptom in which both sides of the mole are not the same. Drawing a line through the center of the mole is a technique that can easily reveal asymmetry.

9. Borders that are uneven. If the edges of the mole appear jagged, notched or rough, this could be a sign that the mole is a melanoma.

10. Color variety is a warning sign. A cancerous mole may have several different shades to it, from brown and black to even a red or bluish appearance.

11. Diameter of the mole is an important cancer indicator. Melanomas are usually larger than the head of a pencil eraser.

12. Evolving skin changes are a critical symptom of cancer. Non-cancerous skin tends to remain static but a melanoma will continue to evolve as the cancer grows. SkinCancer.org states, "Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger."

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Although not all skin cancers are considered life threatening, more than 65,000 people worldwide die every year from skin cancer.
Skin Cancer, Symptoms, Health
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2015-11-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:11 PM
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