Skin Cancer – How to Recognize and When to See a Doctor?

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and if you have a fair idea of what to look for then you can spot the warning signs early. If it is diagnosed in the earlier stages, before it spreads, it can be treated much more easily by a cancer specialist in Hyderabad, Delhi or elsewhere.

While some health care professionals include skin exams as a part of routine check-ups, others recommend that you examine your skin in a well-lit room, in front of a full-length mirror about once a month. You can use a hand-held mirror to view areas that are hard to look at.

An easy way to know about the common signs of Melanoma, which is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, is the ABCDE rule, summarized as follows.

Asymmetry – If one part of a mole or birthmark that you have does not match the other part, it could be a sign.

Border – Ragged, irregular, notched or blurred borders could be a cause for concern.

Colour – If the Colour of the mole is not uniform and/or includes shades of brown, black sometimes with patches of pink, red, white or blue, then you must get it checked,

Diameter – If the spot or mole is larger than ¼ inch across, it could require checking although melanomas can also be smaller than this.

Evolving – If the mole is changing its Shape, Colour or Size.

Basal cell carcinomas usually grow on areas that receive the most sun such as the face, head and neck. They can also show up in other parts though, such as in flat, firm, pale or yellow areas such as a scar; raised, reddish and itchy patches; small, pink/red, translucent, bumps that are shiny or pearly with blue, brown or black areas; pink growths with raised edges and a lower area in the centre, that might contain abnormal blood vessels; or open sores that do not heal easily or return after healing.

Squamous cell carcinomas also tend to grow on areas that get sun, but can also show up elsewhere. These include rough or scaly red patches that might crust or bleed, raised growths or lumps, open sores as mentioned before, or wart like growths.

But you should know that not all skin cancers look like the above descriptions, and you should point out anything that you might be concerned about to the doctor. If you happen to see any new or unusual spots, a sore that does not heal, redness or swelling beyond the border of a mole, spread of colour from the border of a spot into the surrounding skin, itching, pain or tenderness, or any changes in the surface of a mole; then you must consult your doctor. Availing cancer treatment in India as soon as the cancer is diagnosed would increase your chances of recovery.