ABCD's of Skin Cancer

Early detection is the best prevention against any type of cancer.

To prevent the risk from skin cancers, aside limiting sun exposure, one should regularly inspect moles and freckles on the skin. There are four specific signs to look for when inspecting moles that appear on the skin:

  • Asymmetry: When half of the mole does not match the other half.

  • Border: When the border (edges) of the mole are ragged or irregular.

  • Color: When the color of the mole varies throughout.

  • Diameter: When the mole's diameter is larger than a pencil's eraser.

Skin Cancer Facts:

  • Most tumors that arise in the skin are benign and do not metastasize.

  • Skin cancer can be caused by excessive exposure to sunlight.

  • Three forms of cancer are:

    • Basal Cell Carcinoma (Slow growing; rarely metastasizes relatively easy to treat if caught early)

    • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Cancer of the epidermis)

    • Malignant Melanoma (The worst type; very rapid growing; metastasizes rapidly throughout the body; people can die from this type of cancer; early detection is the best defense.)

  • Among the risk factors for skin cancer are:

    • Skin type

    • Sun exposure

    • Family History

    • Age

    • Weak immune system