Detect Warning Signs

Warning Signs

Since the early 1990’s, treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer has increased by about 70% and skin cancer has become the most common type of cancer diagnosed. Over the years, the skin is exposed to numerous potential cancer causing agents, especially the sun and its damaging ultraviolet rays.

Who is susceptible?

Experts estimate that nearly half of the general population that lives to the age of 65 will be diagnosed with a skin cancer in their lifetime. The average age at diagnosis for non-melanoma skin cancers is 68 years old, with men being 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer.

How do you spot non-melanoma skin cancers?

Most non-melanoma skin cancers will be diagnosed on areas of the body with excess exposure to the sun. Although these cancers can be locally progressive, they rarely metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. Through early detection and the decreased metastatic potential, non-melanoma skin cancer is often effectively treated and cured with only local treatment.

In conjunction with taking the right preventative precautions to avoid sun damage to your skin, it is also important to regularly check your body regularly for growths, burns and moles. Some of the warning signs are –

1 Moles

Consult your doctor if you have a mole with the following characteristics –

  • Check for asymmetry and establish if one side of your mole is not the same as the other
  • Establish whether the mole has an irregular border such as it having ragged or blurred edges
  • The colour of your mole may have different colour tones
  • The size of the mole may be bigger than the size of a pencil eraser
  • The mole may be raised above the skin and feel uneven to the touch

2 Skin Cancer

Skin cancers do not all look the same. They can appear as any of the following –

  • A small lump
  • Flat, red spot
  • Firm, red lump
  • A lump or spot that is tender to touch
  • An ulcer that will not heal
  • A lump with a scaly or horny top
  • Rough, scaly patches

3 Melanoma

  • A mole that has changed colour, size or shape
  • A mole that is bleeding, oozing or crusting

See your family doctor if you are worried about any of these symptoms. He or she can examine your skin carefully.

4 Actinic Keratoses

  • A mole that has changed colour, size or shape
  • A mole that is bleeding, oozing or crusting

See your family doctor if you are worried about any of these symptoms. He or she can examine your skin carefully.