Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer and accounts for nearly half of the deaths due to cancer. Early detection leads to prevention of this deadly disease. A simple thing like prolonged exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. It is best to avoid direct exposure to the sun as it affects the DNA genes in the skin cells. There are 3 types of skin cancers namely melanoma, carcinoma and basil cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the quickest to spread hence is the deadliest.
The best way to detect it is to examine yourself regularly. Waxy, scaly warts on your face, arms and neck could lead to cancer. Warts on your neck or behind your ears can be cancerous.
The best way to examine yourself is to stand in front of a full length mirror and examine your entire body from head to toes, front as well as back. Check with a smaller mirror for areas that are difficult to see. Look between fingers and toes and under your armpits. Check inside your hairline, in your scalp and the soles of your feet. Remember that not all moles are cancerous. However if new ones appear and there are hair growth on them then they are potentially dangerous.
If you notice any moles on your body examine it well. Note down in a diary the date the size of the mole and the color. Also mention if there was any swelling, redness or itching around the area. Take a photograph of the area for research and further reference. If you have a family physician make sure to make an appointment immediately to clear any doubts and begin treatment immediately if needed.
Warning signs of cancers include sore throats for more than 3 months without any relief despite medication, scaly moles that itch and swell up and get red. Also be aware of sore skin that does not heal.