Skin Screening

SKIN CANCER

What is it?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but it is more common in people who :

  • Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned

  • Have light-colored skin, hair and eyes

  • Have a family member with skin cancer

  • Are over age 50

Symptoms

The main symptom of skin cancer is a new or changing bump, growth, lesion, mole, or rough patch of skin. Not all skin cancers look alike.

A normal mole is solid tan, brown, dark brown, or flesh colored. Its edges are well defined. It’s usually smaller than 1/4 inch in diameter. It has a round or oval shape. It is flat or dome-like.

The ABCDE rule can help you remember what to look for when you’re checking for moles. If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor right away.

  • A for asymmetry – Mole is not symmetrical. This means it’s not the same on both sides. If it was folded in half, the two halves wouldn’t match.

  • B for border –Edges of the mole are blurry or jagged.

  • C for color – Changes in the color of a mole. This could be darkening, loss of color, spreading color, or multiple colors.

  • D for diameter – A mole more than ¼ inch in diameter.

  • E for evolving – Mole looks different from others or is changing in shape, size, or color.

Prevention and Risk Factors

  1. Avoid the sun: Avoid being in the sun in the middle of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun is the strongest during these hours. That’s when the most damage to your skin occurs. Sunburns and suntans are signs that your skin is damaged. The more damage, the more likely you are to have complications. These include early wrinkles, skin cancer, or other skin problems.

  2. Use sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Use it on cloudy days, too. Check the expiration date. Some ingredients break down over time. Use plenty of sunscreen. Rub it in well. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go into the sun. Apply the sunscreen everywhere your skin is exposed. This includes your ears, the back of your neck, and any bald areas on the top of the head. Apply more sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

  3. Check frequently: Remember, you’re not completely safe just because you’re avoid the sun if you  wearing sunscreen. They  cannot give you 100% protection against the skin cancer you have to do frequently skin diagnostics and test to prevent. 

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Biopsia de piel