Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America, yet a new survey from the American Academy of Dermatology(ADD) discovered that only about half of U.S. adults – 53 percent – know how to look for skin cancer signs!
AAD president Dr. Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, said in a statement:
“Unlike other types of cancer that can’t be seen by the naked eye, skin cancer shows obvious signs on the surface of the skin that can be easily detected by properly examining it.”
The survey also found that 74% of people didn’t know that skin cancer is the most common caner in the U.S. But according to the AAD, 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lifetime.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should examine your skin head-to-toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. If you identify potential skin cancers early, it can almost always be completely cured. You have to know what to look for though, and that includes any new moles or growths, and any existing moles that begin to grow or change in any way.
Here are the ABCDE’s for spotting skin cancer:
Asymmetry. It’s not round, and if you draw a line through the mole, the two halves won’t match.
Border.The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.
Color. A variety of colors in one mole is a warning sign. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.
Diameter. Melanomas are typically larger than 1/4 inch in diameter.
Evolving. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.