(FinancialHealth.net) – Skincare is a very important part of everyday health. Being aware of any changes in the skin is crucial to knowing when to pursue effective treatment. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate.
Mole changes such as bleeding, irregular borders, or changes in color should be evaluated by a doctor. An unchanged mole is typically not a sign of skin cancer. But here are several things to be on the lookout for.
Unchanged Nevi and Moles
The average person with light skin may have anywhere between 10 to 40 moles on their body as they age. Moles that remain unchanged and don’t seem to have any irregularities shouldn’t be a concern. Nevi or moles may get bigger as teens grow, but can be concerning if they suddenly change as an adult. Know the ABCD and Es of skin cancer:
- Asymmetry: One side of the mole doesn’t match with the other
- Border: Edges that are irregular
- Color: Moles that are not uniform in color or change color
- Diameter: Any mole greater than 6mm
- Evolving: Changes in shape, size or color
Having an annual skin examination by a dermatologist is the best way to check for suspicious moles and skin lesions.
Moles with Irregular Borders
There are various types of skin cancer. Some need to be followed and require non-invasive treatment. But the three most concerning are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Basal cell cancer
They are all serious but melanoma can be the most deadly. That is because it may rapidly spread to internal organs. An early sign may be a mole that has an irregular border. If you notice a new mole or one you’ve had for years suddenly starts to grow, bring it to your doctor’s attention right away.
Moles can range from having a reddish tone to a dark brown appearance and variations in between. Noticing a mole going from a light brown to a dark black color or changing from its original color is a concern. This could be a sign of melanoma. Early detection is key to help prevent metastasis.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 100,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in the US in 2020, so keeping a close eye on moles is important to ensure optimal skin health. Noticing a mole or area of skin that breaks open and bleeds should prompt a visit to the doctor. If the area doesn’t heal within a week or so, or there is no explanation as to why the skin is bleeding, get an exam. Nevus that bleed or scab over could be a sign of skin cancer.
After a diagnosis, a dermatologist or oncologist can recommend the best course of treatment. This may include removal and cauterization in the doctor’s office. In other cases, Mohs micrographic skin surgery and/or radiation therapy may be the next step. Scans, immunotherapy and chemotherapy are some treatment and preventative options a doctor may explore.
Most people are at risk of getting skin cancer. One way to help prevent the disease may be to protect yourself from the sun and harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen. Protection and routine doctor visits may help catch a problem early and increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health
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