Melanoma isn’t the only one to have on your radar.
If there’s one good thing about skin cancer, it’s that you can spot it yourself—if you know what to look for. And the earlier you find the signs of skin cancer, the sooner you can seek treatment. That’s incredibly important: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more cases diagnosed every year than all other cancers combined.
You already know that spending too much time in the sun without applying sunscreen can boost your chances of skin cancer—but there are tons of other risk factors to keep on your radar, too. Getting just one bad sunburn, having fair skin or red hair, living at high elevations, flying frequently or driving a lot, exposure to certain chemicals, and having a family history of skin cancer can all spike your risk of the disease.
That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant, as skin cancer is very treatable if you catch it early. “The bottom line is if your skin starts forming a spot that doesn’t look like anything else and it’s not getting better, it’s growing, or it’s acting differently than your other moles, get it checked out,” says Saira J. George, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends doing a self-examination once a month. Don’t rush through this! Do it when you have time to examine your skin from head to toe. Use mirrors as necessary to check your back and other hard-to-see places or ask a partner or family member to help you.
What exactly should you be looking for? The following pictures show what different types of skin cancer look like, as well as how to differentiate between them. Warning: They’re a bit graphic—but knowing how to spot a dangerous mole or lesion could save your life.
Soaring Eagle: "More than 200,000 Michigan voters supported a third-party candidate in 2016, when Trump won the state by just over 10,000 votes.".............If his opposition to President Trump costs him his house seat, what makes this writer think these same people will vote for him as a Libertarian?