Skin cancer: Dr Chris outlines the signs of a melanoma
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In the UK, around 147,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year. It affects more men than women and is more common in the elderly. Around 16, buy xenical online cheap canada 000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year. If melanoma is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, surgery is usually successful.
Dr Suchitra Chinthapalli, consultant dermatologist at Stratum Clinics, says skin cancer can unfortunately “be tricky to spot due to its many forms”.
Chinthapalli notes that a lot of public awareness education talks about melanoma, which is the fifth commonest cancer in the UK.
He adds: “However, far more common are non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These often present quite differently. They may be raised nodules appearing on the skin, they may be scaly or painful.”
Dr Chinthapalli notes these can occur anywhere on the body, but suggests that “extra care should be taken to examine the back which you routinely cannot see”.
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The dermatologist says you should think about asking someone to take a photo periodically to take a look.
“They can appear like scabs or sores but don’t fully heal, they can be a scaly or crusty patch of skin, they can bleed, they can be skin-coloured shiny nodules, and sometimes they can be painful,” Dr Chinthapalli says.
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, according to the NHS.
Both basal cell and squamous cell cancers can appear in a variety of forms. They are usually painless and grow slowly. They can show up anywhere on your body but are most likely to appear on exposed skin, especially on your face or neck.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body.
“The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.
“This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women,” says the NHS.
You should look out for a mole that gradually changes shape, size or colour.
The health body adds that most skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet light damaging the DNA in skin cells. The main source of UV light is sunlight.
In the UK, around 85 out of 100 melanomas are caused by too much ultraviolet radiation, according to Cancer Research UK.
Artificial sources of light, such as sunlamps and tanning beds, also increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
The more moles you have on your body, the higher your risk of melanoma.
Your skin type and colour affect your risk of developing melanoma. If you tend to burn in the sun, you’re more at risk.
Dr Suchitra Chinthapalli explains that skin cancer can also occur in people with darker skin types and “this is often not well recognised”.
“Skin cancer doesn’t always appear in sun-exposed sites and can occur on palms, soles, or even nails. In nails this can appear as a lump under or around the nail or a pigmented band down the nail.
“Although in many cases there may be less concerning causes for this for example trauma or infection, skin cancer also needs to be considered,” the expert says.
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