The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is diagnosed in over two million people every year. The summertime may be the season when the sun is strongest, however UV rays can still damage your skin in the middle of winter or even when it’s cloudy. That’s why it’s always a good idea to apply sunscreen before you go outside.

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which grow slowly and don’t usually spread to other parts of the body, and melanoma, which can spread.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed. It is imperative that you perform regular checks of your skin, as early detection can help prevent any existing conditions from become serious.

The medical community wants you to look out for the “ABCDE’s”:

A = Asymmetry (if one side of a spot looks different from the other)
B = Borders that are irregular
C = Colour changes (or one spot that is more than one colour)
D = Diameter that is more than the size of a pencil eraser
E = Evolving, referring to a change in size, shape, symptoms (itching, tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or colour.

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