Skin cancer – Can we spot it?
Skin cancer, nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), is the most frequent cancer worldwide. Prevention is possible as it is amenable to early detection and diagnosis in first stages potentially reduce morbidity and mortality.
We all know that moles may turn to be dangerous being in fact a cancerous or pre-cancerous lesion.
As about everybody in adulthood has at least some moles, how can we know if they are dangerous?
The key symptom is changing. A cancerous mole will change in colour, size and shape over time.
A changing spot may be a problem, but not every change means a cancer. A mole may appear and then get bigger or become raised but still be only a mole.
A regular self- examination is useful to notice any new or changing cutaneous imperfections (some forms of skin cancer have little or no colour) and if it is the case to book a visit to the dermatologist. Nobody can diagnose him- or herself. If one sees a spot that looks as though it is new or changing it should be evaluated by a specialist.
People with one or more risk factors: photo-types I-II, history of intense and repeated sun exposure and sun burns (especially in childhood), many moles, relatives with history of skin cancer, should go for a screening and define with the doctor an appropriate schedule of checks.
Even if incidence of melanoma is higher in Caucasian people African Americans and Latinos are equally at risk; this explains the Dark skin does not protect from skin cancers.
Most people are today aware of the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light but few of them use sunscreens every day as a routine prevention.