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How to Check for Skin Cancer

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Recognize the characteristics of melanoma.

 

 

Early detection is especially important with melanoma. It is the most deadly of all skin cancers. Melanoma can be cured if it is caught early during stage one. As the cancer advances to late stage cancer, the survival rate for more than a few years is less than 15%. The skin lesions associated with melanoma have certain characteristics that can be looked for when checking yourself for skin cancer, which are based on an ABCDE scheme.

  • A stands for the typical asymmetry within the skin region, where one half does not match the other half.
  • You should also look for a Border, which will be irregular, ragged or notched, jagged, and not sharp or crisp.
  • The Color will also change across the skin area with a kind of tie-dye effect with blacks, browns, and blues.
  • You must also look for the Diameter of the lesion.[8]It will likely be larger than six mm, or just a bit over a 1/4 an inch in size.
  • You will also notice the mole or lesion Evolve, or change, its appearance over time. [9][10][11]
  • People with darker skin color must be aware that they are at risk for cancer as well — in particular a dangerous form of melanoma that is not caused by sun exposure, called acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM). It is typically found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or even under the nails.
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