Everyone likes to be tan. And while most of us are soaking up the rays to get that Jennifer Lopez glow, the last thing on our mind is skin cancer, even though doctors say the disease is rising at an alarming rate, and amongst people in their twenties.
The biggest misconception about skin cancer is that it only applies to people with fair skin. People from all ethnic backgrounds and with all skin types are at risk for skin cancer, especially if you spend an excess amount of time in the sun. The good news is, skin cancer's very treatable if caught early, which you can do with a self exam. Look for any new moles or spots, and changes in any existing moles. Spots that begin to change shape, bleed, itch, and won't heal are all signs to watch for. To make it a bit easier, remember the ABCDE's of mole safety by following these guidelines:
1. Skin Cancer: A
Non-cancerous moles and spots are supposed to be completely symmetrical. In most skin cancer cases, the spots do not look the same on both sides of the mole. If you see any uneven moles when conducting a self-exam,show those to your doctor.
2. Skin Cancer: B
A mole with blurry or even jagged edges is something to watch out for. If you see the border of a mole change over time, that’s also a red flag.
3. Skin Cancer: C
A mole that has multiple colors is definitely one that needs to be looked at by a doctor. A healthy spot is usually only one color all the way around.
4. Skin Cancer: D
If a mole is larger than 1/4 inch - the size of a pencileraser - it could be a warning sign. Also, make sure to keep an eye on yournormal spots for growth patterns.
5. Skin Cancer: E
Any change is any mole or spot is something to show yourdoctor. A change in shape, size, color, as well as itching, bleeding, or crusting, are all signs to look out for. If you have a question about a mole, don’t chance it, see a doctor and get their professional advice ASAP.