It is important to know how to prevent skin cancer because according to the book, “A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions,” skin cancer is increasing. This book also states that as the years go on, Americans are getting skin cancer at a younger age.
It is recommended that each individual should self examine for skin cancer once a month. The best time to examine yourself is after a bath or shower. You start this examination by observing your birthmarks, moles, and blemishes, and be attentive as to what they look like. The entire body should be checked. This includes the back, buttocks, scalp, and genitals. Every time you check yourself, notice if there is any changes that might indicate one of the three most common forms of skin cancer. The following are the most common forms of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Cancer: This is the most common skin cancer in the United States. It is slow-growing and seldom spreads (metastasizes) to other part of the body. The book, “A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions” states basal cell cancers may look like pearly or waxy nodules that sometime have depressions in the middle. As the cancer grows , the center is more ulcerated and looks corroded.
Squamous Cell Cancer: This type of cancer is raised or lumpy-looking with a reddish base. This type of cancer tends to bleed. Squamous cell cancer like basal cell cancer seldom spreads to other parts of the body.
Malignant Melanoma: As the name implies, this type of cancer, if not detected early, can spread to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and central nervous system and can be lethal. This type of cancer appears as a mole and changes color, shape, and size. The faster these changes occur, the more important it is to pay close attention to it. Look for an irregular border with different colors in the same mole and some black color. Most melanomas are not raised. In the early stage, most of these resemble a very dark and larger than a normal freckle. These melanomas are found mostly on the back of men and on the back, thighs, and calves in women.
Actinic Keratosis: This type of cancer appears on sun-exposed parts of the body. It is scaly and appears mostly on the ears, scalp, and hands. The scaly areas may be easier to feel than to see. This type may be pre-malignant and should be treated.
Most skin cancers are caused by the sun. Light-skinned and light eyed people are at greatest risk for skin cancer.
As a person who has had skin cancer, it is a good idea to follow the above rules and perhaps keep it in a place where it can easily be seen.
Source: A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions