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Not Just Skin Cancer

Why is Best Day Ever Gifts so concerned with spreading Skin Cancer Awareness? Because of Math. Numbers. Statistics. Do you have skin? Have you had a sunburn? Gone to a tanning bed? Fried outside in baby oil, like a piece of chicken from KFC? 

 

According to The American Cancer Society:

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the US each year than all other cancers combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades.  One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their life. Mostly caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays - anyone can get it, regardless of skin color. Whether youre exposed to the suns UV rays or visit an indoor tanning salon, each shade darker your skin gets, damage is occurring. As this damage builds, you speed up the aging of your skin and increase your risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

 

The good news is, when caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Skin cancer is mostly preventable, and mostly detectable! Thats why self exams and yearly Dermatology exams are so important. Know the warning signs:  Any spot that is different from others, changes, itches or bleeds, should be seen by a dermatologist.

 

 

 

A few quick prevention tips:

A few quick Detection Tips: 

 

Melanoma

Use the “ABCDE rule” to look for some of the common signs of Melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer:

Photo of mole showing asymmetry, border irregularity, and color

Asymmetry
If you cut it in half, does it look the same on each side? 

Close-up photo of mole showing asymmetry, border irregularity, and color

Border
The edges are irregular, like someone was coloring outside the lines. 

Photo of mole showing asymmetry, border irregularity, and color

Color
The color or even shade is not the same all over. Could be brown, black, pink, red, white, or blue.

a guide to measure spots on your skin

Diameter
The spot is larger than ¼ inch across – about the size of a pencil eraser.

Close-up photo of mole showing asymmetry, border irregularity, and color

Evolving
The spot is changing, in size, shape, color, elevation, itchiness, tenderness, etc. May change from  feeling normal to scabby or crusty. 

UGLY DUCKLING                                          This method is based on the concept that these melanomas look different — they are "ugly ducklings" — compared to surrounding moles. The premise is that the patients normalmoles resemble each other, like siblings, while the potential melanoma is an outlier,a lesion that, at a given moment in time, looks or feels different than the patients other moles, or that over time, changes differently than the patients other moles.

 

 

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are not as dangerous as melanoma, but they are much more common.

 

Basal cell carcinomas, or cancers, usually grow on areas that get the most sun, such as the face, head, and neck. But they can show up anywhere. Look for:

Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas, similar to a scar
Raised reddish patches that might be itchy
Small, pink or red, translucent, shiny, pearly bumps, which might have blue, brown, or black areas
Pink growths with raised edges and a lower area in their center, which might contain abnormal blood vessels spreading out like the spokes of a wheel
Open sores (which may have oozing or crusted areas) that dont heal, or that heal and then come back

 

Squamous cell carcinomas, or cancers, also tend to grow on areas that get sun, such as the face, ear, neck, lip, and hands. But they can also show up anywhere. Look for:

Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
Raised growths or lumps, sometimes with a lower area in the center
Open sores (which may have oozing or crusted areas) that dont heal, or that heal and then come back
Wart-like growths

 

Not all skin cancers look like these descriptions, though, so point out anything youre concerned about to your doctor. That would include:

Any new spots
Any spot that doesnt look like others on your body
Any sore that doesnt heal
Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole
Itching, pain, or tenderness
Oozing, scaliness, or bleeding

 

If prevention hasnt been your thing, detection can. Be proactive in caring for your skin - its the only skin you have!

 

Do you have any experience with Skin Cancer? Comment below! 

 Photo credit Skin Cancer.Org 


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