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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Warning signs of skin cancer

Skin cancer can be a deadly battle to fight. With most symptoms left undiagnosed, it can become quite a threat to one’s health. The following guide will help you detect those early signs and seek treatment before it gets too late.

1. Actinic Keratosis

Also known as Solar Keratosis, this condition implies natural and scaly patches of skin found most commonly on the head, around the neck or hands, and these are a result of overexposure to the sun. Although these can deemed as the early signs of skin cancer, the chances of these patches becoming cancerous, is entirely subjective. However, most dermatologists recommend patients should attend to these patches to facilitate early treatment.

2. Farmer’s Lip


Clinically termed as Actinic Cheilitis, Farmer’s Lip condition is similar to Solar Keratosis in its manifestation. This is fairly common in older men and light skinned people. Characterised by swelling of lips, disappearance of the lip-skin border, general scaly texture and patches of unexplained redness, this type of affliction may become a malignant carcinoma if left untreated.

3. Cutaneous Horns


The appearance of funnel shaped growths with a red base is usually the most telling symptom of its appearance. The scaly texture is characterised by the presence of keratin, which is the same protein that constitutes nails. They start out with only a few millimeters in length and diameter, but can grow up to considerable amounts. The bases of these horns contain the carcinogenous cells that, later on, give way to skin cancer.

4. Atypical Moles

Clinically known as Dysplastic Nevi, these are larger, irregular shaped moles, occurring all over the body, with a fading border of mixed colour, which tend to grow with time. Although the appearance of these notch-like moles might not signify cancer straight away, if left untreated, it might soon become cancerous.

5. Melanoma

Although not as common as the other symptoms, it, nevertheless, is the deadliest type. A melanoma can be spotted in an unexplained formation of a mole, or a sudden pigmentation of the skin. Changes in the size, shape or colour of the mole are some of the earlier symptoms. However, if the mole develops irregular edges, causes itch, oozes pus or bleeds intermittently, one is advised to seek immediate medical attention.

6. Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type rears its head as a red but firm nodal growth on the skin, which eventually gets crusty and bleeds, or becomes an unsealing sore. Occurring mostly in the areas of the body that are exposed to sun, they tend to form over the neck, arms, head, forehead, nose, cheeks and lips. This carcinoma is completely treatable and if detected early, the affliction can suitably be done away with.

7. Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most common occurrence and by far the most easily treated carcinoma in the category. Due to its slow expansion, it can take varied forms to manifest itself. Unsightly bumps with visible blood vessels, mostly occurring on the neck or on the face, this type can manifest itself as a scar like patch and grow on to be cancerous.

Skin cancer is a growing ailment among people with constant exposure to the sun. Based on the above mentioned symptoms, if one finds any such occurrence on their skin, they are advised to get in touch with their dermatologists as soon as possible.

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