Happy New Year!
More people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined. Diagnoses have increased significantly in recent years, and your risk of developing skin cancer is heightened if you fail to protect your skin from the sun. Learning the ABCDE rule for suspicious lesions can help you spot the warning signs of skin cancer early so you can get treatment as soon as possible. No matter your skin concerns, the team at Pure Skin Aesthetic & Laser Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, is here to help.
The acronym ABCDE stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and elevation. Unlike harmless skin marks, cancerous lesions are often asymmetrical with a border that appears to be jagged or blurry. If you have a mole that changes color, such as darkening until it’s almost black, or one that contains more than one color, it may be malignant.
Any mole larger than a quarter-inch, or roughly the size of a pencil eraser, should be seen by a doctor, as that can be a sign of skin cancer as well. A mole that’s abnormally elevated, meaning it has a raised and uneven surface, may also be cancerous.
The ABCDE rule of skin cancer is easy to remember, so keep it in mind whenever you look over your skin or notice an unusual mole. It can be especially beneficial if you develop melanoma. While not the most common form of skin cancer, melanoma is the deadliest type. If the ABCDE rule leads you to see your doctor quicker, it could help save your life.
Rather than wait until you notice an unusual mole out of the blue, consider skin self-exams. Aim to look over your skin, including difficult-to-see areas, about once a month, or more frequently if advised by a doctor. It won’t usually take more than 10 minutes.
When you spot signs of skin cancer, you can often stop the disease from worsening — but only if you seek medical care as soon as possible. Don’t overlook symptoms or wait to see if they get far worse before reaching out to your physician or dermatologist. Meanwhile, take good care of your skin by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen or protective clothing whenever you go outside.
If you need any problem areas looked at, or if you want to learn more about spotting skin cancer, book an appointment online or over the phone with Pure Skin Aesthetic & Laser Center today.
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