How to Spot Skin Cancer
There are many health conditions that can cause lifelong changes. Cancer is one such condition, as it often requires highly invasive treatments and a rigorous screening to identify any changes. Luckily, skin cancer is not quite so devastating when it is identified early. Finding changes in your skin can be done with simple observations over the year. However, a knowledgeable source is your most trusted guide and can be found in our ABCD skin cancer screenings. How to spot skin cancer, understanding certain risk factors, and seeking the appropriate treatment will lead to cancer-free skin.
Understanding Skin Cancer Risk Factors
Certain individuals can be more prone to developing skin cancer during the lifetime. As always, family history is a significant indicator of potential skin cancer. Individuals with family who have often developed skin cancer should be wary and seek out skin cancer screenings at least once a year. Another significant risk factor is skin tone. Those with lighter or more fair skin tones are typically more prone to sun burns. Excessive burning can potentially lead to skin cancer growth. Of course, additional risk factors such as scar tissue, excessive sun tanning in machines, frequent x-ray exposure, and more can lead to skin cancer. By understanding what these risk factors are you can help prepare to identify potential skin cancer whether on your own or with a professional screening. By identifying any potential changes early, you can receive the treatment you need.
Self-Checks and ABCD Screenings
Keeping track of any noticeable changes on your skin can be done with a self-check or annual ABCD screenings. Both types of observations require you to look for changes to any skin spots or moles on your skin. Early identification of skin cancer is key and can get rid of the cancer completely with less invasive methods. We recommend scheduling an ABCD screening at least once a year for any individuals who have any of the risk factors we mentioned earlier. The screening is named after the four specific changes our technicians look out for. They are as described:
A – Asymmetry – When it comes to our skin spots and moles, they should appear symmetrical, both sides giving off a mirror image of each other. Skin cancer can drastically change their appearance causing an asymmetrical image. It might be easy to observe any asymmetrical skin spots on easy to reach places such as your arms or legs. Our ABCD screenings can observe skin spots and moles anywhere on the body.
B – Border – Skin spots and moles often have a clear and easy to identify border. They should appear natural and not irritated. Skin cancer can change the border’s appearance causing it to appear scalloped or irregular. This change can be a sign of skin cancer and one that is able to be identified early on.
C – Color – Skin spots can come in a variety of colors depending on your own skin tone. Most colors are normal and natural. However, colors that stand out and do not appear anywhere else on the body should be a sign of concern. Our ABCD screenings can help you become informed on what colors can be a sign for skin cancer with your skin tone.
D – Diameter – Most skin spots and moles should be smaller, specifically under six millimeters in diameter. Anytime they get larger than this size it can be a sign of skin cancer. As mentioned earlier it can be hard to observe and identify these changes on your own in hard to reach spots. Our ABCD screening can keep track of this information as you complete additional screenings.
Individuals who are at risk for skin cancer whether from excessive tanning or a family history should always be informed about changes on their body. Frequent self-checks at home are recommended along with annual screenings. This can help identify any possible skin cancer growth early giving you plenty of time to receive treatment. We offer a variety of skin care treatments including treatments designed to completely remove skin cancer growth. Identifying the cancer cells early can allow for a less invasive treatment and not require a significant recovery time. Stay knowledgeable about how skin cancer can affect your body and how you can identify and spot skin cancer.
Consultations Always Available
If you think you are at risk for skin cancer or have you noticed anything suspicious during your self-checks, it may be time to schedule your free consultation. Our highly trained technicians will make sure to review our entire procedure during this process and determine if annual ABCD screenings are right for you. Having St. Louis Lipo on your side can be the difference between a quick skin cancer removal or dealing with long term effects of a late skin cancer identification. Contact us today.