Education and prevention programs have led to improved screening for skin cancer, which in turn has improved diagnosis and survival rates for melanoma.
Skin cancers may have many different appearances. They can be small, shiny, or waxy, scaly and rough, firm and red, crusty or bleeding, or have other features. Itching, tenderness, scaling, bleeding, crusting, or sores can signal potentially cancerous changes in any mole.
There are a number of factors to look for, which can serve as a general guide. They fall under the skin cancer ABCDE rule:
- Pink or red areas may result from inflammation of blood vessels in the skin.
- Blue areas reflect pigment in the deeper layers of the skin.
- White areas can arise from dead cancerous tissue.
Keep in mind that the most important warning sign of melanoma is a new or changing skin lesion, regardless of its size or color. Changes that occur over a short period of time (particularly over a few weeks) are most concerning.
Anyone with risk factors for skin cancer should check their entire body about once a month. People who regularly check moles on their skin may have a lower risk of developing advanced melanoma.
To schedule your appointment, call us today at (815) 625-4790 or in Dixon (815) 284-1600.