Know Your Skin Cancer Alphabet
- Posted on: Nov 15 2017
When we discuss skin cancer, one of the primary messages is that we should all spend time every single month checking our skin. This recommendation is followed up with specific tips for discerning the true nature of growth – benign or potentially cancerous. You know them as the ABCDE’s of skin cancer.
Using this acronym as a guide, we are expected to observe characteristics including:
- Border irregularity
- Color discrepancy
If you are particularly mindful about examining your skin, you may know these characteristics so well that your self-exam is completed quickly and without major worry. The problem, we are learning, is that skin cancers may shapeshift; they may not fit within the box that has been created for them. To miss a skin cancer is a dangerous mistake, but to catch a skin cancer means we must know how to check the skin properly.
The Danger with Normalcy
Skin cancer examinations should be the norm; but not to such an extent that we know exactly what we’re looking for, because, truthfully, we don’t. Here’s an example. There is a type of melanoma called amelanotic melanoma. This extremely dangerous cancerous growth does not look like your average mole. Its borders may be so discreet that they are barely noticed; its color so light and transparent that it seems like nothing more than slight hyperpigmentation.
Jumping out of the Box
Skin cancer can hop right out of that ABCDE box. To adequately guard our health, we must do the same. Skin cancer screenings observe skin with discerning eyes. This examination not only looks at telltale characteristics such as multiple coloration and jagged borders but also observes whether a particular growth stands out among all others. For example, if your skin is prone to displaying large, light brown spots of color, and you notice a small red mark during a normal skin cancer exam, there is a good reason to call your doctor for a more in-depth assessment. Remember, too, that pearly clear, white, or pink marks are not as harmless as they may seem. Any growth that looks odd to you is a growth that your dermatologist should see.
Contact our Leeds, West Yorkshire practice at 07580 411 350 to schedule your full skin cancer screening.
Posted in: Skin Cancer