That’s why skin exams, both at home and with a dermatologist, are especially vital. Early detection saves lives. Learning what to look for on your own skin gives you the power to detect cancer early when it’s easiest to cure, before it can become dangerous, disfiguring or deadly.
Why is it important to catch skin cancer early?
Melanoma can spread quickly to other organs, and it causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths in the United States. So it’s especially important to detect this type of skin cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Why is it important to detect melanoma early?
This form of cancer starts in the melanocytes, cells deep in the epidermis, or in moles on the surface of the skin that produce pigment. Early detection and treatment are critical to prevent this cancer from spreading throughout the body.
Why is it important to learn about skin cancer?
Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis).
What happens if you catch skin cancer early?
But when it’s caught early, melanoma often is curable. That’s why it’s so important to be familiar with your skin and report any changes to your dermatologist right away, especially if you’ve had a significant amount of exposure to tanning beds in the past. Get into the habit of checking your skin once a month.
How long does it take skin cancer to spread?
It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.
How does Melanoma make you feel?
hard or swollen lymph nodes. hard lump on your skin. unexplained pain. feeling very tired or unwell.
How do you know if you caught melanoma early?
Pigment, redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot to the surrounding skin. Itchiness, tenderness or pain. Changes in texture, or scales, oozing or bleeding from an existing mole. Blurry vision or partial loss of sight, or dark spots in the iris.
What is early stage melanoma?
The earliest stage melanomas are stage 0 (melanoma in situ), and then range from stages I (1) through IV (4). Some stages are split further, using capital letters (A, B, etc.). As a rule, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV, means cancer has spread more.
Can melanoma be treated if caught early?
Surgery may be the only treatment needed when melanoma is found early. A dermatologist can often perform this type of surgery during an office visit while you remain awake. During this surgery, the dermatologist removes any remaining tumor (after the skin biopsy) and some normal-looking skin.
Can u die from skin cancer?
About 2,000 people die from basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer each year. Older adults and people with a suppressed immune system have a higher risk of dying from these types of skin cancer. About 7,180 people die from melanoma each year.
Where does skin cancer start?
Skin cancer begins in the cells that make up the outer layer (epidermis) of your skin. One type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells, which make skin cells that continuously push older cells toward the surface.
Are most skin cancers curable?
Found early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Often a dermatologist can treat an early skin cancer by removing the cancer and a bit of normal-looking skin. Given time to grow, treatment for skin cancer becomes more difficult.
What does early stage melanoma look like?
Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
Does skin cancer feel like a scab?
SCC is most often found on sun-exposed areas of skin often the ears, face, scalp and lips but can occur anywhere on the body. It can sometimes look like an irritated or dry patch of skin or a wound or scab that just won’t heal.
Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
People who live in areas with bright, year-round sunlight, or those who spend a lot of time outdoors without protective clothing or sunscreen, are at greater risk. Early exposure, particularly for people who had frequent sunburns as a child, also increases skin cancer risks.