You have probably heard a lot of information in the news about skin cancer. There was a boom in cases following a generation of oiling the body and lying in the sun to get a tan. This was a common enough sight, and for a long time people had no idea of the damage they were doing. A tan seemed like a natural enough result to want in the summer, and some people get one without even trying.
TANNING CAN LEAD TO SKIN CANCER
Tanned skin is damaged skin. Skin cells have been deeply affected by the sun and could be susceptible to skin cancer. Maybe nothing will happen, or if it does, years might pass before cancer shows up. It is not uncommon for someone who tanned regularly to see cancer develop a decade or more later. What are you looking for? Examine your skin regularly for marks that have suddenly appeared. They might look like moles or freckles. They could resemble blemishes. When they are healthy, blemishes will eventually dry up or shrink away. Moles and freckles will remain cute and small. They could be raised, but the edges are defined and the color is uniform. When a blemish becomes a problem, it will not go away. It will remain raised and shiny, perhaps pink or white, and it might itch. It could even bleed. This type could be basal cell cancer.
SKIN CANCER AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A squamous cell cancer might look like a scaly patch near the eyes or close to the ears. Melanoma symptoms will probably manifest a growth in diameter. Its color will not be a uniform shade of brown but will look unhealthy, with shades of pink, blue, or even grey mixed in. There is no definite line around the edge indicating where the mole begins and ends. You will not feel any different. There will be no pain to indicate that a mole or mark is a problem. No other symptoms (except maybe some local discomfort or itching) will warn you that the cells on your body are cancerous and, in the meantime, they could be spreading. Melanoma and squamous cell cancers both spread, although basal cell cancer remains local, running deep instead. If you cannot see all of your moles and are concerned, talk to your doctor or have someone you trust review all of them regularly. You can do the same for your friend or spouse. You could also visit a mole mapping clinic where you can pay a fee to have all of your moles ‘mapped’ and monitored. Skin cancer usually leaves scars, but it can kill, so be proactive.