Cancer is a serious risk for people of all ages and from all walks of life and backgrounds. While most people worry about lung, breast, and prostate cancers, don't forget about skin cancer. Skin cancer can be caused by a genetic predisposition to the disease, by excess exposure to the sun, and by a wide range of other factors. The easiest way to keep skin cancer from getting out of control is by catching it early and getting help from a dermatologist. The best thing you can do to protect yourself, especially if you are deemed "high risk" for skin cancer, is to visit your doctor for screenings regularly and to be aware of and on the lookout for the common early warning signs.
Changes in Moles or Freckles
Those with moles or freckles are at an increased risk for skin cancer, which often first presents itself in one of these blemishes. As such, if you are prone to moles or freckles, keep a watchful eye on them. If you notice any changes, even small ones, visit your dermatologist for an assessment.
While any changes should be looked into, be especially aware of changes in color, size, shape, symmetry, or feel.
When small, pink bumps pop up on the skin, most people are prone to ignore them. In fact, these bumps, which can be one of the early warning signs of skin cancer, are commonly mistaken for (and written off as) pimples.
In truth, though, these bumps can actually be a type of common skin cancer, known as basal or squamous carcinoma. If you're not sure if a bump is a pimple or something more serious, see your doctor. And, if the bump doesn't go away within a week or so, definitely see a professional.
Finally, take notice of any sores that form on the body, especially if you don't know where you got them. Sores don't just come out of nowhere, so if one does, there's a good chance it's a developing form of skin cancer instead. This is especially true if the "sores" don't heal quickly or if they cause you pain.
These types of skin cancer spots can develop anywhere on the body, so pay attention to your body—all of it—and see a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary. It's better to see a doctor like Desert Dermatology and have nothing be wrong than to put it off and let a serious problem fester.