Skin cancer is on the rise, especially among young females. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, incidences of skin cancers have increased by nearly 61 percent for women ages 15 to 29, according to the American Cancer Society.
Estimates indicate that over a million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer every year. The bad news: It can be deadly. The good news: It is preventable. The key is moderation when it comes to unsafe practices, like tanning without proper sun protection (SPF of 15 or higher) and body awareness. By knowing — and regularly checking for — common signs or symptoms of skin cancer, you can improve your chances of early detection.
Symptoms or signs of skin cancer can vary depending on the type of skin cancer, but here are some common warning signs:
• A raised, waxy-looking bump, particularly on your face or neck
• A mole that changes in color, size, shape or begins to bleed or has an irregular border
• Scaly patches of skin that don’t go away, even when you moisturize them
• Redness or tenderness around a mole or other skin growth
• Hard, red bumps on your face, neck, arms and/or hands
Skin cancer is most often spotted on sun-exposed areas — scalp, neck, face, lips, ears, arms, hands and legs — but it can develop anywhere on your body. It can show up in unusual places, such as between toes, on eyelids, underneath nails and even around the genital area. Skin cancer also can occur on any type of skin tone, even dark-pigmented complexions, and affect individuals of any race or sex. Some skin cancer signs may show up suddenly while others may develop gradually.
If you notice any warning signs of skin cancer, see your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection just may save your life!