Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer to strike people than any other form of cancer. Skin cancer is more common in fair-skinned people, but all skin types can develop skin cancer. The main cause of skin cancer is from ultraviolet radiation from too much time spent in the sun.

Identifying the signs of skin cancer early, and avoiding overexposure to the sun are the two best ways to prevent skin cancer. The three major causes of skin cancer are heredity, environment, and ultraviolet light damage to the skin, mostly in children and teenagers. Studies show adults receive half of their lifetime ultraviolet exposure when they are 20 years old.

Did you know skin is our bodies largest organ. It protects our internal organs from injury, acts as a barrier between those organs and bacteria, and prevents the loss of valuable fluid from our body. It also regulated body temperature and communicates to the brain to allow for temperature, touch, and pain sensations.

You can see why it is important to keep our skin healthy and free from any signs of skin cancer symptoms. The majority of skin cancers are classified as non-melanoma or melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer will develop on those areas of the body that are the most exposed to the sun.

The early signs of skin cancer systems that appear on the body, face, ears, neck, lips, and the backs of our hands are where most non-melanoma skin cancer would be found. These signs of skin cancer rarely spread to another part of the body. Skin cancer signs can be one extreme to the next, either the cancer can be slow growing or grow at a rapid rate. Melanoma, a common skin cancer, begins in the cells that produce the skin pigment or coloring known as melanin. Melanin also protects the deepest layers of the skin from harmful radiation from the sun.

Melanoma accounts for a small percentage of skin cancer, but it is far more dangerous and life threatening than non-melanoma skin cancer. The chances of surviving melanoma skin cancer are better if it is caught in the earliest stage. The signs of skin cancer include family history of skin cancer, multiple moles, a fair complexion, exposure to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, and radium, and severe sunburn as a child. Your body will show early signs of skin cancer symptoms, and both patients and doctors play an important role in finding signs of skin cancer. If you believe you have signs of skin cancer or have any change on the skin, consult your doctor.

Any change can be a sign of skin cancer, like the size and color of a mole, or a growth that is darkly pigmented, or a new growth on the skin. If you have a change in the appearance of any bump or nodule, or if you have oozing, bleeding or scaling of the skin you should contact your doctor. Another sign of skin cancer to look for is if the color of the pigmentation spreads beyond the border of a mole or mark. Another sign of skin cancer would be a change in sensations to your skin, for example, itchiness, tenderness, or pain, it's time to go to your doctor. If you watch for any of the signs of skin cancer symptoms it can be prevented that is important to know. Practice sun safety and avoid being out in the sun for long periods.

If you fear that you have signs of skin cancer symptoms, avoid the sun altogether between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Try to stay in the shade especially when rays are the strongest. It will also help if you put on a long sleeved shirt to prevent the suns rays from reaching your skin. If you show any of the signs of skin cancer symptoms, using sunscreen is important when you are going to be in the sun.

Using a sunscreen of SPF 15 or above when outdoors will help you protect your skin from skin cancer. Use sunscreen generously and always reapply if you have been in the water, are heavily perspiring, or have recently toweled off. For prevention of developing signs of skin cancer wear a hat this will keep your face, ears, and neck shaded and provide some protection. A wide-brimmed hat is the best choice but if you are wearing a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen. Your eyes also need protection from developing signs of skin cancer. The best protection for the eyes and surrounding skin is to wear sunglasses.

Sunglasses with 99-100 percent UV absorption are recommended when you are in the sun. Protect yourself, and alert your doctor if you think you may be developing any signs of skin cancer.

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