Spotting skin cancer and preventing it

Spotting skin cancer and preventing it

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than all other cancers combined. Yet, while the number of skin cancer diagnoses are up, it remains among the most treatable forms of cancer.

There are three kinds of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma; which is the most deadly.

The good news though, is that melanoma is both treatable and curable with early detection, which can start right at home so long as you remember your ABC’s.

A stands for asymmetry in a mole or birthmark.
B is for borders that might appear blurred or irregular.
C is color that isn’t the same throughout.
D is the diameter, which you do not want larger than that of a pencil eraser
E is evolving and changing in any of these areas over weeks or months.

Skin cancer screenings should be done yearly by a doctor once you hit middle age. However, if you notice any of these changes to moles or birthmarks, you need to see a doctor immediately.

“The problem with melanoma though is that it can spread very quickly, very early on in it’s cycle of life,” said Dr. Joel Sears of Advanced Dermatology.

When it comes to prevention, Dr. Sears recommends choosing a sunscreen you like so you can reapply and reapply even more when out in the sun. Wear a hat, cover up and stay in the shade as much as possible to decrease your risk.