Whenever I visit the hospital, I always get the advice that I shouldn’t stay away from my sunscreen when I am outdoors as a preventive measure against skin cancer.
Coupled with that advice comes another that helps me look out for symptoms of skin cancer so that I can address the issue in its early stages.
In fact, doctors suggest that you go through what they call the A, B, C of skin cancer.
A goes for asymmetry, and that has to do with the shape of the moles on the skin. If they are of a symmetrical nature, then they are most likely to be benign tumors, but if they don’t seem to have a uniform shape, then they are most likely cancerous.
B is for border; this is very close to what has discussed above. If a mole has defined borders, then it is most likely a normal mole, but if it doesn’t have that smoothness to it and it seems to attach itself to the surrounding tissue, then it is most likely a cancerous tumor.
C is for color. Regular moles have uniform color while cancerous ones seem to be multi-colored.
D is for diameter, and this has to do with the size of the moles. Regular moles have a diameter of about 6mm or less while cancerous moles could be bigger than that.
E is for evolution, and that is about the change in size over time. Regular moles usually maintain their size or grow very slowly over time while cancerous moles change shape, size or color.
But apart from these major ones, there are also more symptoms and signs of skin cancer that aren’t as visible as the ones mentioned above. Now let us look into them in the article below.
But before we dive head first, let’s find out what skin cancer really is.
And to get a comprehensive answer, we go to the US National Library of Medicine: “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.”
So now that we have some knowledge about this disease, we can now look into some of its invisible symptoms.
This is a big sign of skin cancer, if you are having some kind of itchy sensation on or under the skin at one particular spot and yet don’t know what could be the cause of that, please it is expedient that you see your doctor.
2. Lumps And Bumps
Lumps and bumps that show up around your neck, armpits, and groin can be a sign of cancer spreading to your lymph nodes and so it is important that you constantly and deliberately check for such lumps at specified body parts mentioned above.
3. Unexplained Joint Pain
Also having unexplained persistent joint or muscle pain could be a sign that melanoma could have spread to your bones. Sometimes such joint pain could feel like an arthritis pain.
Wherever you feel some kind of numbness in any part of your body, please see your doctor. This could be a sign that cancer has affected the nerves.
5. Abdominal Pain
When melanoma spreads to the liver, you could begin to feel abdominal pain especially in the upper right side of your belly.
But then again, almost no abdominal pain is a printer to cancer as abdominal pain is quite a common symptom of many other illnesses. But it is important that you monitor it and see a doctor if it persists.
6. Trouble Breathing
Having difficulty in breathing or trouble swallowing, hoarseness and cough could mean that cancer is spreading throughout the body, especially if it is a very persistent issue.
7. Blurred Vision
Melanoma does affect certain pigment-producing cells that are usually found in the eyes, hence the blurry vision. These cells are called melanocytes.
If you are having more than one of these symptoms, then you should see your doctor.