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Identifying Six Indicators of Skin Cancer at an Early Stage

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Hollywood star Hugh Jackman spoke about his latest skin cancer fear and urged fans to be careful.

The star had biopsies of moles on his nose that could be basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer with a high survival rate.

The Daily Mail spoke to dermatologists to identify early signs of skin cancer to help you protect yourself.

Asymmetrical moles

Dermatologists are guided by ABCDE in diagnosing skin cancer: that is, asymmetry, borders, color, diameter and development.

Most melanomas, the rarest and most serious form of skin cancer that spreads most often, are moles with jagged edges.

They look different than normal moles, round, tan, or brown spots on the skin caused by the growth of groups of skin cells called melanocytes.

Moles of uneven color

The color is a strong indicator of serious skin cancer. Healthy moles are usually solid, ranging from dark brown and light brown to pink and fleshy.

Some moles become cancerous and gradually change color. And in 70-80% of cases, precancerous moles appear on healthy skin.

But a suspicious mole often has several shades of brown, black, or brown, as well as pink, red, or purple spots.

Moles larger than a pea

Size matters when it comes to suspicious moles. Melanomas usually appear a little larger than a pea, about six millimeters or a quarter of an inch.

Doctors also need to keep an eye on how the mole develops over time.

Skin cancer grows in two stages, horizontally and vertically. The horizontal stage can take years before the mole becomes severe and invasive, meaning it has spread to the lymph nodes and organs. But at a later stage, the lesion grows vertically, after which it becomes a tumor with the potential to spread to any other part of the body, which can lead to death.

Bleeding or flaky patches

They often appear on areas of the skin most exposed to the sun, such as the face and crown.

Potentially precancerous squamous cell carcinoma leads to actinic keratosis, a skin condition that causes rough, scaly patches. Sometimes the spots can bleed and ulcerate. People with a history of excessive sun exposure are more likely to develop this type of skin cancer.

Dark spots on the genitals

Melanoma can appear as dark lesions on mucous membranes, such as inside the nose, mouth, vagina, anus, or on the fingers and toes.

This aggressive subtype of cancer is extremely rare and accounts for less than 2% of all skin cancers.

Unlike other types of skin cancer, mucinous melanoma is not exposed to sunlight. About half of mucosal melanomas start in the head and neck, usually the nose, mouth, trachea, or esophagus.

Most of the remaining 50% of melanomas begin in the anal or rectal region and the female genital organs.

Although doctors have not determined the exact cause of mucosal melanoma and non-melanoma cancer, some believe they are related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus strain.

Pearlescent wax bumps on the skin

Basal cell carcinoma, which usually appears on exposed areas of the body such as the arms, neck, arms, and legs, often appears as a waxy mass or small growths that are smooth, shiny, or pale.

However, it does not always appear raised and may resemble a flat scar.

Jackman attributes his predisposition to skin cancer to spending most of his childhood outdoors with a family that didn’t use sunscreen.

Source: Daily Mail

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