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Detection and Prevention of Skin Cancer

More melanoma cancers are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Too much exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancers. The exposure may come from the sun and other man-made sources like indoor tanning beds and sun lamps. One does not need blood tests or X-rays to detect skin cancer early because it clearly shows on the skin. To successfully treat skin cancer, you have to find it early.

By wearing sunscreen every day, you can reduce the risk of melanoma and various other skin cancers. You can also cover your skin with long pants, long sleeves and stay in the shade as much as possible. It is also good to learn the warning signs of skin cancer because early detection is the key to successful treatment of this cancer.

Here are the warning signs and A, B, C, D, and E’s of skin cancer:

  • Asymmetry is a melanoma warning sign that is seen when one draws an imaginary line through the center of a mole, and the results are two halves that do not match.
  • Border – Moles that have scalloped border may turn out to be early melanomas. Benign melanomas are moles with smooth and well-defined borders.
  • Color – Moles that have a variety of blues, reds, browns or whites could be warning signs of melanoma.
  • Diameter – Melanomas are larger (approx. ¼ inch) but to be on the safe side, get annual checkups that can determine whether even the small moles are benign or not.
  • Evolving – Melanomas mole change over time; in shape, size, height, and color. Affected moles may also bleed, itch or crust.

Individuals with over 100 moles are at a higher risk of melanoma. It is important to know your skin enough to recognize any changes. The warning signs can help notice any changes so that you see a doctor.


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