Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Top = Normal, Bottom = Melanoma Top = Normal, Bottom = Melanoma

More than 62,000 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. That's the estimate predicted by the American Cancer Society. Of those 62,000, nearly 11,000 will die. 

In NewsChannel 11's Safety Solutions, we showed you where you could be getting unexpected sun exposure and that's driving or riding in cars. We spoke with dermatologist Dr. Richard Hope who recommended wearing sunscreen in the car and we also showed you ways to block the exposure by tinting your windows. To see that story, (click here).

Now, we're going to show you how to check yourself for signs of skin cancer.

Dr. Hope, says, "A common scenario we hear is, I have had this pimple on my nose for five months and it won't get well. That should raise a red flag. That's not just a pimple. That's something that needs to be evaluated. Also look for any change in a mole. For example, it starts to bleed or itch or the color looks different than they did two months ago. That's something that needs to get checked."

You should examine your skin regularly and see a doctor if you have any skin changes. The American Cancer Society recommends that people age 20 to 40 have a professional skin exam every three years. Those over forty should have an annual exam.  When examining your skin, follow the alphabet, ABCD for these problems.

  • A = Asymmetry. That's when one half of a mole or birthmark doesn't match the other.
  • B = Border. When the outer edge of a mole is irregular, ragged or blurred.
  • C = Color. When the color is not the same all over or a mole changes color.
  • D = Diameter. You may need to get a mole checked if it's larger than six millimeters across. That's about the size of a pencil eraser.

(Click here) to see some examples of melanoma cancers.

Melanoma is usually considered fatal but it's not the only type of skin cancer. Non-melanomas are more common and are usually found where you get the most sun exposure, like your head, neck and arms. For more information on skin cancer, (click here).

(Click here) to take a sun safety quiz.

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