How to Detect Skin Cancer: 6 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Detect Skin Cancer: 6 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Detect Skin Cancer: 6 Steps (with Pictures)

More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, and this number has been steadily increasing in recent decades. No matter where you live or how dark your skin is, you are at risk for skin cancer if you spend a lot of time exposed to UV rays, either from the sun or from tanning beds. Along with taking preventative measures, the best way to stop the threat of skin cancer is to have early detection.


Method 1 of 2: Identifying Cancer

Check for Skin Cancer Step 1
Check for Skin Cancer Step 1

Step 1. Recognize all types of cancer and their forms

You need to study the various signs before concluding that you have cancer and feeling panic and fear.

  • Basal cell cancer. Most commonly found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms; flat, hard, and pale parts; small, raised, pink or red, translucent, shiny, shiny, and "pearl"-like parts; may bleed from minor injuries; may have one or more abnormal blood vessels, a lower area in the middle, and/or parts that are blue, brown, or black; wider areas may ooze or harden; Small blood vessels can be seen.
  • Squamous cell cancer. Most commonly found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms; a rough scaly lump, or crusted surface; a reddish flat patch that grows little by little; sometimes accompanied by ulceration or bleeding.
  • Actinic keratoses. Small, rough spots (less than 6.35 ml); pink to red or flesh-colored; It usually appears on the face, ears, back of the hands, and arms.
  • Melanoma. Identify if there is a change in the size, shape, color of the mole or the appearance of new spots during the growth period. Use the "ABCD rule".

    • A - Asymmetry, half of the mole or birthmark does not match the other.
    • B - Borders are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
    • C - Colors vary (brown, black, red, blue and white).
    • D - Diameter greater than 6 millimeters (about 1/4 inch - the size of a pencil eraser).
Check for Skin Cancer Step 2
Check for Skin Cancer Step 2

Step 2. Recognize the warning signs

Not all cases of skin cancer show classic symptoms as described above. You should also pay attention to the following signs:

  • Any new growths, spots, bumps, patches, or sores that don't heal after 2 to 3 months
  • The spread of pigment from the border of a freckle to the surrounding skin
  • New redness or swelling beyond the borders
  • Changes in sensation - itching, pain, or soreness
  • Changes in the surface of the mole - scaly, oozing, bleeding, the appearance of a lump or nodule

Method 2 of 2: Self-Examination & Precautions

Check for Skin Cancer Step 3
Check for Skin Cancer Step 3

Step 1. Mark the calendar

In addition to annual check-ups with a doctor who is able to examine the skin and answer any questions if any, set a schedule for self-examination once a month.

Check for Skin Cancer Step 4
Check for Skin Cancer Step 4

Step 2. Stand in front of a mirror that shows the whole body

Skin cancer can form in any part of the body, which is why it is very important to perform a very thorough self-examination. Use a wall mirror so you can see your skin more clearly. You should also have a hand mirror and if possible ask a partner or close friend to examine areas such as the lower back or the lower back of the thighs.

Check for Skin Cancer Step 5
Check for Skin Cancer Step 5

Step 3. Examine the whole body

Attaching a list of body parts to be examined can be very useful when conducting a self-examination. To run a self-check, don't skip any of the following steps:

  • Carefully examine your face, lips, ears, behind your ears, and eyes. Use a flashlight to examine the inside of the mouth.
  • Examine the neck, shoulders, abdomen and chest. You may need to remove the breast or excess skin so you can examine the skin underneath.
  • Examine the armpits, arms, hands, between the fingers, and fingernails.
  • Using a hand mirror, examine the buttocks, genitals, lower back, upper back, and the back of the neck. Turn your back towards the large mirror and use the hand mirror to see the reflection.
  • Examine the feet, ankles, soles of the feet, toes, fingernails and between the toes. You can examine the front while sitting, but you will need to use a hand mirror to see the bottoms of your feet, calves, and the backs of your thighs.
  • Part the hair and examine the scalp.
Check for Skin Cancer Step 6
Check for Skin Cancer Step 6

Step 4. Seek medical attention immediately if you find anything similar to skin cancer

Get help as soon as possible; consider visiting a local clinic and making an appointment for the next day. If it's about skin cancer, it's better to do early prevention before regretting it later.

  • Step 5.


    • If the surgical wound does not heal within approximately one month after the operation, you should immediately contact Wound Center near you for testing and treatment. This treatment is covered by most Health Insurance policies, including Medicare.
    • If you have experienced second stage sunburn, you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Your risk is twice as high as someone who has never experienced it.
    • Treatment for eye melanoma:

      • Cryotherapy and plaque therapy (to freeze and/or burn melanoma)
      • Laser therapy.
      • Surgery to remove the eye. This is called enucleation. If the tumor is so large and has spread that it cannot be treated with enucleation, a more extensive operation called orbital exenteration will be performed. The orbital exenteration procedure elevates not only the eyeball, but also the muscles of the eye, the other eye and the orbital structures and eyelids.
      • Surgery to remove part of the eye (especially if it is in the iris), such as iridectomy (removal of part of the iris) and iridocyclectomy (removal of part of the iris along with the ciliary muscle).
      • Chemotherapy
      • Radiotherapy.
    • Keep in mind that melanoma is not just skin cancer: it can occur in other parts of the body, namely the eyes. You also need to have your eyes checked because melanoma can occur in any part of the eye: the iris, conjunctiva, eyelids and inner parts such as the choroid. This is a rare type of cancer, but it is the most common eye cancer in adults. Symptoms of eye melanoma:

      • In the early stages, symptoms may not be visible (people will not be aware of the presence of melanoma in the eye until the eye is examined and monitored using an ophthalmoscope by an ophthalmologist/ophthalmologist/ophthalmologist).
      • If the melanoma gets bigger - vision may become blurred, double vision develops, decreased vision, retinal detachment and vision loss)
      • If melanoma appears on the conjunctiva or iris, it will look like a blackish/brown dot right on the iris/conjunctiva.
      • If not detected and treated as early as possible, eye melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, especially the liver.
      • A benign form of eye melanoma is called a nevus. Regular checkups and thorough monitoring are done to make sure it doesn't turn into a melanoma.

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