A recent study by the American Academy of Dermatology showed that the incidence of melanoma in the United States doubled between 1988 and 2019. Diagnoses skin cancer worldwide is expected to increase by 50% by 2040. Although this number is cause for concern, skin cancer is completely curable if detected in time.
According to Julie Karen, a dermatologist in New York, everyone should be concerned about moles. Asymmetry, changes in their color, contour and diameter can be the first warning signs of cancer. In addition, other symptoms such as itching, scaling, and bleeding should also be considered.
As Debra Wattenberg, dermatologist and founder of the NY Skin RX Clinic, points out, you should check all areas of your body, including hard-to-see areas like the scalp, eyelids, and between your fingers. hands, toes and behind the ears.
Here are some skin cancer warning signs people should not ignore.
Unusual moles appear
Everyone should pay attention to unusual moles, unlike other moles on the body from shape, size to color and contour.
Dr. Debra adds that congenital moles can develop into skin cancer. Although the appearance of a new mole is not always an alarming sign, the body tends to grow less moles as we age.
There’s a stripe on the nail
Many people think that skin cancer has nothing to do with nails. In fact, as Dr. Julie has pointed out, a black or brown streak in this area is the first warning sign of cancer. People can easily mistake them for a bruise located in the skin under the nail.
If you’re in the habit of using nail polish, Dr. Debra advises, remove the polish and get your skin checked. This will help doctors easily detect abnormalities and make the most accurate diagnosis.
Having vision problems
According to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, ocular melanoma is the most common eye cancer in adults, reported 2,500 cases each year in the United States. Most melanomas appear in the middle layer of the eye, also known as the uvea, and are undetectable when looking in a mirror, says the Mayo Institute.
This condition can cause blurred vision, dust-like spots in the eye, and more and more dark spots in the iris, explains Sapna Patel, a skin oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. , change in pupil shape or loss of peripheral vision.
Acne does not go away on its own
Basal cell carcinoma can produce small nodules that look like pimples. So, if you notice that your acne doesn’t go away on its own after a few weeks, doesn’t heal, or keeps coming back, don’t hesitate to see your doctor as soon as possible.
According to Dr. Debra, “acne” It can also disappear and regrow in the same place and not produce pus even if you squeeze.
Moles on soles of feet
Many people have benign moles on the soles of their feet or hands. However, if you experience this condition, you should still see your doctor for a checkup. Dr Sapna said, people often don’t pay attention to the skin under the soles of the feet and don’t even care about moles even when they know they grow there.
Appearance of changes after mole removal
The appearance of abnormal changes on the skin after mole removal is an extremely dangerous sign. Even if your original mole is completely benign.
Therefore, talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you notice a lump, a bump appearing near the area of the old mole, or feel pain in that area. In addition, a change in skin pigmentation is another sign to watch out for.
There’s a black spot in my cheek
Another spot that gets less attention and can be easily overlooked is the inside of the cheek. In fact, skin cancer warning signs can appear in areas with mucous membranes such as the inside of the cheeks, the nasal cavity, the anal area, and even the vagina.
Dr. Sapna noted, these are all positions that are difficult to self-examine and receive little attention. Therefore, if possible, people should visit a doctor to check and get the most accurate diagnosis.
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