How to Check Yourself for Symptoms of Skin Cancer and Melanoma

By August 30, 2017Burn Safety

With summer starting to wrap up and sun tanning season more or less behind us, it is important to make sure that you made it through the year without permanent damage to your skin. Sunburns, after all, can develop into some of the most deadly burns around. Checking your skin for signs of cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is not a difficult or arduous process. Nevertheless, doctors recommend checking yourself for the signs of skin cancer often – at least once a month if you stay in the sun for extended periods of time.

How to Check Your Skin for Cancer

Dermatologists recommend using the “ABCDE Rule” for checking yourself for signs of melanoma and other symptoms of skin cancer. While not a perfect rule, by following the ABCDE Rule, you can often find symptoms of skin cancer in its early stages, before things get too serious.

You can follow the ABCDE Rule by checking your skin for signs of:

  • Asymmetry

Moles or birthmarks on your skin should be symmetrical: You should be able to draw a line down the middle of it, and both sides should be identical. However, if one part of a mole does not match the other parts, whether in color or shape, it could be a sign of melanoma.

  • Border

Moles on your skin should have a smooth, well-defined border where it meets your skin. It should look like a sharp photograph. Melanoma, on the other hand, tends to have borders that are irregular or blurred.

  • Color

Moles that are not cancerous are all one color, typically a light shade of brown. Skin cancer, however, often shows itself in moles that have more than one color. If you notice that a mole on your skin has multiple shades of a color, then you should see a doctor.

  • Diameter

Larger moles are often a sign of skin cancer. Moles are typically smaller than 6mm, or the size of an eraser on a pencil. However, if a mole grows larger than this, it is a warning sign that you might have skin cancer from sun exposure.

  • Evolution

Cancerous moles evolve or change, over time. If you notice that one of the moles on your skin has changed, then it is a sign that you have developed skin cancer, and should see a doctor.

The Burn Injury Attorneys at Walker Morgan

Prolonged exposure to the sun does not just put you at risk of a sunburn – it also increases the likelihood that you will develop a serious and sometimes fatal skin cancer. These conditions often require numerous visits to the doctors and sometimes are expensive with risky surgeries that can be costly.

Contact the attorneys at the Walker Morgan Law Firm online or at (800) 922-8411.

Will Walker

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