Skin Cancer & Pre-cancers
Skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer in humans. People of all colors and races can get skin cancers. Those with light skin that burn easily are at a higher risk.
Actinic Keratosis- (AK’s) are precancers lesions that typically present like a dry scaly patch or spot. These are considered the earliest stage of skin cancer or a precancer. Actinic keratosis can progress into squamous cell carcinoma.
Actinic keratosis are typically seen in adults over the age of 40 because they tend to develop from many years of sun exposure. Proper use of sunscreen can help prevent AKs.
Basal Cell Carcinoma- (BCC) are the most common type of skin cancer. They frequently look like flesh- colored pearl-like bump. They can also look like a pinkish pat of skin. BCC’s develop in skin that has been frequently exposed to sun like the head, neck and arms. Although many can form on the trunk and lower limbs as well. BCC usually do not grow quickly and rarely spread to other parts of the body but left untreated these cancers can invade the surrounding tissue and grow in to nerves and bone causing damage and disfigurement.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second monst common type of skin cancer. They look like a firm bump, scalpy patch, or an ulcer that heals then re-opens . They are also usually reddish in color. Like BCC people with light skin types are most likely to get SCC and they tend to form in areas that have had a lot of sun exposure such as the ears, face neck, arms and trunk.
Melanoma is a skin cancer that can be life threatening. Nearly one person an hour dies from Melanoma making it the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma skin cancer often develops or appears suddenly in a new dark spot on the skin. There are many warning signs. The absolute first warning sign is CHANGE. Any change in an existing mole or new mole is a sign and you should have your mole looked at.
A stands for ASYMMETRY; one half unlike the other half.
B stands for BORDERS; irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C stands for COLOR; varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
D stansd for DIAMETER; while greather than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
E stands for EVOLVING; a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.