As with any form of cancer, early detection is crucial to its successful treatment. Many forms of cancer grow inside the body and are not visible to the naked eye, making early detection difficult or even impossible without specific testing. Skin cancer, on the other hands, is visible and, in some cases, even obvious, making early detection more common than with other cancers. Learning the early signs of skin cancer can help save your life. Find out more about skin cancer and how to detect it in its earliest stages with Dr. Gerald Newman at Bayside Laser & Skin Care Associates in Annapolis, MD.
What are the early signs of skin cancer?
Abnormal moles are the most common early sign of skin cancer. If you notice a new mole at all, you should see your dermatologist and have it checked out. Generally, moles do not change in size, shape, or color and remain generally the same though they may morph slightly over a long period of time. However, moles which change quickly or appear out of nowhere are considered questionable and should be seen by a doctor.
The ABCDEs of Early Detection of Skin Cancer
Detecting skin cancer early is often pretty obvious if you are informed and know what to look for. Use the ABCDEs to determine if your mole is questionable:
- Asymmetry: Normal moles are symmetrical in shape.
- Border: Non-cancerous moles have a smooth border.
- Color: Moles should be one solid color, ranging from pink to brown.
- Diameter: A mole should not be greater than six millimeters in diameter, or about the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolution: You may notice a slight change in normal moles, such as becoming raised or flat or getting slightly darker or lighter. However, a mole that changes quickly, not over the course of years, is cause for concern.
Finding Skin Cancer Early in Annapolis, MD
Early detection is paramount to successfully treating skin cancer. If you have a mole you think may be cancerous, do not hesitate. Contact your dermatologist right away to ensure that you receive the treatment you require. Yearly skin examinations with your dermatologist are a great way of preventing skin cancer and allow your doctor to examine your entire body, even areas you cannot easily see.
For more information on skin cancer and its early detection, please contact Dr. Newman at Bayside Laser & Skin Care Associates in Annapolis, MD. Call (410) 224-8001 to schedule your appointment today!