Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How to Check for Skin Cancer Symptoms

How to Check for Skin Cancer Symptoms
By eHow Health Editor

When checking for skin cancer symptoms, it is important to know the three basic types of skin cancer, and how to correctly identify them. While cases of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are increasing every year, early detection is the key to success in treatment.

By frequently checking your body for changes in moles, lesions, or unusual changes in your skin, and by immediately reporting any concerns to your dermatologist or oncologist, you may help to reduce your chances of having a life-threatening condition.

Know the Different Types of Skin Cancer


Educate yourself about melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which usually takes the form of a mole which is either irregularly shaped or is changing. People who spend a lot of time with their skin exposed to the ultra-violet rays of the sun are at risk for melanoma.


Know about basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, which afflicts 800,000 people per year. This type of skin cancer happens almost exclusively to caucasians, and is marked by thickening patch of skin.


Research the facts about squamous cell carcinoma, usually identified as a large reddish patch of skin that becomes scaly, crusted or ulcerated. 160,000 people per year are diagnosed with this form of skin cancer.

Check for Symptoms of Skin Cancer


Ask a doctor or loved one to assist you by checking the areas of your body you cannot see yourself.


Check all moles for symptoms such as asymmetry, border irregularities, color variation and increasing diameter. If a mole has changed significantly in any way, have it checked by a dermatologist.


Follow up with your doctor over any concerns that you have. Ask the doctor whether you you fall under any high-risk categories for skin cancer.

Tips & Warnings

Be aware of your patient rights, according to the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, in regards to treatment options and participating in all treatment decisions.

The most significant lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent skin cancer are to use sunscreen with a high SPF whenever you are out in the sun and to avoid tanning beds.

The prospect of having skin cancer can be quite stressful for most people, so it is important to be prepared for any emotional or psychological issues that may occur before or during treatment. Ask your doctor about any medications or counseling that may assist you through the treatment process.

source : http://www.ehow.com/how_2033573_check-skin-cancer.html


Jeanne said...

You should never feel embarrassed to ask your health care provider questions, either. We have to be our own advocates... if you see anything at all unusual, the biggest mistake you can make is to think "Oh, it's probably nothing."

Rashguard Girl said...

Don't forget the UV protective clothing! Surfers have used rash guard shirts for years but it's just recently that the SPF 150+ protection these shirts provide while you're in the water has been discovered by the rest of the beach going population.