Signs and Symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma
1. A patch of skin that itches, bleeds, hurts, or forms a scab.
2. An open sore that fails to heal in one month or that close and reopens.
3. A translucent skin growth, often with a dent in the center and raised edges, that gradually expands.
Sqamous cell carcinoma
1. Brownish or reddish, rough, scaly patches on skin that has been exposed to sunlight (often the first sign of this cancer).
2. A firm, fleshy swelling that gets bigger and bigger.
3. A raised growth that looks like a wart and sometimes bleeds.
1. A mole that changes in appearance. It becomes scaly or ooze, bleed, or enlarge.
2. A dark area of the skin that feels itchy, or the sudden appearance of a “bubbly” mole.
3. Dark spots or moles that have these traits: Asymmetrical Border: blurry; Color uneven; Diameter larger than one inch.
What to do now
Don’t delay going to a doctor if you suspect you have skin cancer. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the better chance of successful treatment.
When to call a doctor
1. If you have an itchy mole or a dark spot or bump that changes color, bleeds, or oozes.
2. If you see any of the signs of skin cancer.
3. If what looks like a pimple crusts over, doesn’t go away, and gets bigger.
4. If you develop a lump on or beneath an areas of your skin normally exposed to the sun and it doesn’t disappear after two weeks of home treatment with warm compress.
How to prevent it
1. Since sun exposure causes 90 percent of skin cancers, the best way to prevent them is to avoid that exposure as much as you can.
2. Apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before you go outside for any length of time, and wear a hat, long sleeved shirt and long pants (Remember that ultraviolet rays can penetrate haze). Avoid being outdoors between 10 AM and 2 PM (or if possible, 4PM) when the sun’s rays are most intense.
3. Don’t use suntan oil it doesn’t protect your skin.
4. Do a skin self-exam periodically. If you are light-skinned, have freckles burn without tanning, or have a freckles, burn without tanning, or have family history of skin cancer, visit your doctor for an initial checkup and help in recognizing danger signs.