Skin Cancer Signs

Skin cancer continues to be the number one preventable cancer in the entire world. And yet, we’re still not paying attention to the dangers! Over 73 million people in the United States alone suffer from damaging sunburn every year. Just one such sunburn can more than quadruple your chances of developing skin cancer at a later date.
There are three basic types of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Cancer – BCC is the most common form of skin cancer that is detected. It usually presents as a pearly raised bump with a hard edge. It doesn’t ever heal or go away. While it is a skin cancer, it is not considered to be metastasis. If you have had a single diagnosis of a BCC, you are at a greater risk of developing more of them in the future.
Squamous Cell Cancer – SCC is less common than basal cell carcinoma, roughly by two-thirds. Men are four times more likely to present with a SCC than women are. This type of cancer is directly related to sun exposure. Most people who experience sun damage develop a precancerous lesion called an actinic kurtosis. This is a rough, red, scaly patch that appears on sun-exposed areas of your skin. It may seem to go away, but it will always reappear. This is your warning sign! Do NOT ignore it! With treatment, SCC is completely curable. Without treatment, it is often fatal.
Melanoma – These are the most dangerous skin cancers of all, occurring only about one tenth as often as BCC. This type of skin cancer is deadly. This erupts from the melanin producing cells of your skin and presents as a dark, uneven colored freckle or mole with ragged edges. Usually this type of cancer is asymmetrical, meaning that one half of the dark spot does not match the other half. There will be some mottling of color, and one side can be larger than the other. Melanoma is deadly, even if it is smaller than an eraser, not raised, not painful. If you suspect that you have a suspicious lesion, get to a dermatologist today! The longer you wait, the more chance this lesion can metastasize, meaning a single cell breaks apart and travels to another area of your body. When this happens, you will die of this disease. Once you have been diagnosed with a melanoma, you are considered a cancer patient.
Any suspicious skin lesion needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist. The sooner the better.

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By Amber Luebke and Bree McLain, owners of Lotus Salon in Stoughton, WI, have over 35 years combined experience specializing in hair color, accenting your best features and addressing your specific needs. Google+
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