Have you ever seen a strange mark on your skin and wondered if it was the beginning of skin cancer? Guest-host Bill Arnold and physical therapist Lisa Morrone discuss five ways to identify skin cancer.
Lisa has developed a “Skin Cancer Alphabet” to help people understand if their skins imperfections are something they should be worried about.
A is for Asymmetrical
One of the key signs of melanoma (skin cancer) is to check to see if the mark is symmetrical, in other words, does it look like a circle. Most moles, freckles, and other skins marks are round. However, Melanoma usually is not and often will resemble an ink blot. Lisa suggests folding the mark in question to determine if both sides are balanced and symmetrical.
B is for border
Lisa also suggests that people focus on the border of a strange mark to determine if it could be cancerous. If the border is jagged or frayed as opposed to being smooth, it could be cancerous.
C is for color
Pay close attention to the color of the mark in question because it can tell you a lot about whether or not he mark is cancerous.
“If you have a spot on your skin that is not consistent in coloration in a patchwork way, that’s something that should create a little bit more heightened concerns.”
D is or diameter
Another important factor is the size of the mark.
“How large is this thing on your skin? If it is smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, there isn’t much concern.”
E is for evolving
If a mark looks suspicious but is still smaller than a pencil eraser, it is still worth keeping an eye on. One of he sure signs of a cancerous mark is rapid growth. Check on the mark to see if it grows bigger over time.
“That evolving nature says something is on the move and something is growing and that’s really important to go get your skin checked.”
More often than not, a suspicious mark won’t turn out to be cancerous. However, it is always worth a checkup with your dermatologist to stop cancer in its tracks.