Do You Know Your ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer?

Leave a comment

Even if you have carefully practiced sun safety all summer, it’s important to continue being vigilant about your skin in fall, winter, and beyond. Throughout the year, you should examine your skin head-to-toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help you identify potential skin cancers early, when they can almost always be completely cured.

First, for a successful self-exam, you obviously need to know what you’re looking for.  As a general rule, to spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), take note of any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way.  Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are also alarm signals.

It is so vital to catch melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, early that physicians have developed two specific strategies for early recognition of the disease: the ABCDEs and the Ugly Duckling sign.

Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

A- ASYMMETRY:

melanoma

 This benign mole is not asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match, meaning it is asymmetrical, a warning sign for melanoma.

B – BORDER

melanoma

 A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.

C- COLOR:

melanoma

 Most benign moles are all one color— often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.

D- DIAMETER:

melanoma

 Benign moles usually have a smaller diameter than malignant ones. Melanomas usually are larger indiameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

E – EVOLVING:

melanoma

 Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see a doctor. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.

Article Source: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/melanoma-warning-signs-and-images/do-you-know-your-abcdes#panel1-1

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

Advertisements

Here’s Why Hugh Jackman’s Skin Cancer Selfie Is So Important

Leave a comment

Jackman posted a warning to his fans. 

Australian actor Hugh Jackman, better known as Wolverine from the X-Men series, recently posted an Instagram selfie much different than his usual gym photos, or shots hanging with his adorable pups. This particular picture was one urging his followers to take skin protection more seriously, opening us all up to a much needed discussion about skin cancer.

“An example of what happens when you don’t wear sunscreen. Basal Cell. The mildest form of cancer but serious, nonetheless, please use sunscreen and get regular check-ups,” Jackman captioned the image.

This has been Jackman’s 5th skin cancer removal since 2013, after his wife convinced him to get a mark on his nose checked out. Like many others, he didn’t take it seriously at first and didn’t get his first mole checked out until others starting bringing up the mark as well.

Skin cancer is still one of the most common forms of cancer, but also one of the most preventable. Many people, especially men, still don’t get regular mole checks like they should, even though early detection is the most important step when it comes to a successful recovery. Additionally, everyone has been guilty of skipping SPF at one point or another in order to get a golden tan, but as seen in Jackman’s selfie, it simply doesn’t pay off in the long run.

With Instagram flooded with celebrity selfies celebrating their flawless complexion, or the latest glowing makeup application, it’s easy to put these public figures on a pedestal, thinking not even cancer can touch them. However, the beauty of social media is that it also allows us to feel connected to celebrities. They become relatable figures that we can picture ourselves close with, which makes Hugh Jackman’s selfie so important. He makes a point to show that absolutely everyone, even a celebrity, can get skin cancer, and although his form of cancer is rarely fatal, it should be taken seriously nonetheless.

Hugh Jackman speaking out about his condition not only raised awareness for prevention and the importance of detectability, but also gave people a platform to open up about their own skin cancer stories, furthering the note that any one is susceptible to sun damage. Well wishes and personal cancer stories flooded Hugh’s Instagram account, temporarily giving many people a safe place to open up. Kudos to Hugh for sharing his story and reminding us of the importance of slathering on the SPF, even in the winter!

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/health/heres-why-hugh-jackmans-skin-cancer-selfie-is-so-153934982.html

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠
Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine