Skin Cancer Information

Know details of symptoms, types, prevention and photos (pictures) of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. You must be wondering what does skin cancer look like. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is responsible for most cases of skin cancers, wrinkles and spots. The UV rays are present in sun radiation.

Skin Cancer Causes

Skin cancer is caused due to over exposure of the skin to UV radiation from the sun. This damages the skin, causing it to change colour and burn, increasing the skin cancer risk. Severe sunburns, especially during childhood also increases the risk.

There are three types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.

All types of skin cancer are associated with a change in the appearance of the skin in a localized area on the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, palms, the spaces between toes, and genital area. Common symptoms or signs of skin cancer are :

  1. A change on your skin i.e. a small growth or as a sore that bleeds, heals and then reopens.
  2. A change in an existing mole or the development of a new, irregular mole may be the sign of melanoma.
Skin Cancer Pictures

Symptoms of Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Examine your face, ears, neck, chest or back for
- A waxy bump.
- A flat brown scar-like lesion.

Symptoms of Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Examine your lips, face, ears, neck, hands or arms for
- A firm, red nodule.
A flat lesion with a crusted surface.

Symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma cancer is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. The good thing is that only 5 per cent of all skin cancers diagnosed are melanoma, but they are responsible for 80 per cent of deaths due to skin cancer. You can get a melanoma cancer at any age, however, it is the most common cancer in youngs aged 10-24 years.

Examine your whole body for
- A large brownish spot with darker speckles.
- A simple mole that changes in color or size
- A simple mole that bleeds
- Bumps, firm dome-shaped.
- A small lesion with an irregular border.
- Dark lesions on palms, soles, fingertips and
- Red, white, blue or dark blue spots on trunk
  or limbs.

Examine your skin regularly (see the skin cancer photo). Look for the development of new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends to look for moles or skin growth with asymmetrical or irregular shapes, with irregular or notched borders, larger than about 6 millimeter in diameter, and change in their color. If you observe any of these, you should report to your doctor or dermatologist. Observe the skin cancer mole picture/photo/image. (How to remove moles)

Curcumin that gives the yellow color to turmeric can inhibit the growth of melanoma cancer cells and cause cancer cells to self-destruct, according to a study in 2005 carried out by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.( Turmeric Benefits)

Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer usually appears in mature people, but that may have began in childhood. To prevent skin cancers and to protect your skin do the following:

  1. Minimize your time in direct sun to protect skin from the harmful rays of the sun. A long exposure to sun may cause a sunburn or sun poisoning or a suntan damaging your skin. This increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Note that the effect of exposure to sun is accumulative.
  2. Before going to sun, apply a broad spectrum Sunscreen on all exposed skin (including lips and hair) with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more (
    Sunscreen SPF ratings). The broad spectrum sunscreens contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
    When you go out in sun, wear clothes that provide a SPF of 15 or more. Cover your hands and legs, wear a cap or hat and sun glasses.

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