Safety Tip: July
Skin Cancer Fast Facts
Skin cancer and melanoma account for about 50% of all types of cancers diagnosed combined. 90% of skin cancer is a direct result of excessive exposure to the sun. Although it is one of the more preventable types of cancer, each hour one person dies from it.
Symptoms of skin cancer:
A small lump (spot or mole) that is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture.
A red lump (spot or mole) that is firm.
A sore or spot that bleeds or becomes crusty. Also look for sores that don’t heal.
Rough and scaly patches on the skin.
Flat scaly areas of the skin that are red or brown.
Any new growth that is suspicious.
If you suspect a lump, spot, or mole may be suspicious of skin cancer, see your doctor. When detected early it is highly treatable.
The ABCDE method is used to evaluate moles. This is a general guideline, and any mole or growth that concerns you should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.
A – Asymmetry: Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
B – Border: A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
C – Color: A mole that is more than one hue is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
D – Diameter: If it is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1⁄4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry).
E – Elevation: Elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface.
Take five to ten minutes once a week to check for changes on your skin.
Early detection is key to continued good health.