Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all types of cancers. Fair-skinned individuals who sunburn easily have the greatest risk of developing skin cancer. Other important risk factors include use of tanning devices, family history, repeated medical and industrial x-ray exposure, immunosuppression, scarring from diseases or burns, and occupational exposure to compounds such as coal, tar and arsenic.
You should develop a regular routine to inspect your entire body for any skin changes. If a growth, mole, sore or skin discoloration appears suddenly or begins to change, contact Phoenix Skin Dermatology to have it checked by our medical professionals.
ABC’s of Skin Cancer
Follow the ABC’s of skin cancer for early detection of moles or pigmented spots exhibiting the following changes:
- Asymmetry: One half unlike the other half
- Border: Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
- Color: Varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown or black; sometimes white, red or blue
- Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm in diameter when diagnosed (the size of a pencil eraser), they can be smaller. If you notice a mole different from others or which changes, itches, or bleeds (even if it is small) you should contact Phoenix Skin Dermatology immediately.
- Evolving: The mole over time changes shape, size, color, etc.