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HomeHEALTHHow to Spot Skin Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, and Precautions

How to Spot Skin Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, and Precautions

Skin cancer refers to cancer that affects the skin. Any change in your skin, including a new growth, an unhealing wound, or a change in a mole, can indicate skin cancer. 

In 2021, Lancet, a scientific journal published that “ultraviolet radiation due to climate change is thought to be connected with the increased incidence of skin cancer and melanoma.” Elsevier and the Women’s Dermatological Society in 2020 found strong circumstantial evidence supporting that “ultraviolet radiation due to climate change is thought to be connected with the increase in skin cancer”.

Malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are the two main kinds of skin cancer, and both of their incidence rates are rising.

The A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma are “a simple approach to recall the warning symptoms,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Asymmetry: Does the mole or spot have an uneven shape or two portions that are noticeably different from one another?

Border: Is the border wavy or crooked?

Colour: Is it inconsistent? 

Diameter: Is the mole or spot larger than a pea?

Evolution: Has the mole or spot evolved/changed?

Living close to or south of the equator puts you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer because too much exposure to solar UV, or ultraviolet light radiation from the sun, is one of the biggest risk factors.

Protection from the sun: 

The majority of skin cancers are caused by excessive UV (ultraviolet) radiation exposure. If you are outside, the chances of developing skin cancer can be reduced by staying in the shade, covering up with a scarf, and using a broad-spectrum 30 SPF water resistant sunscreen.
Indoor protection: 

Use sunscreen, be it summer or winter, outdoors or indoors. Computer and phone screens, tanning beds, and sunlamps all emit UV rays that harm skin cells. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, it produces more melanin (a pigment that gives skin its colour), which progresses to the skin’s epidermis and appears as a tan there. Any alteration in skin tone following UV exposure (whether it is a tan or a burn) is an indication of harm, not health.

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