Sweta Rai Home Page Image London Sweta Rai Home Page Image Rose Sweta Rai Home Page Image Shard Sweta Rai Home Page Image Doctor Rai


How to Detect Skin Cancer

Sun protection by preventing sunburn and excessive tanning play very important roles in preventing skin cancer and is the true secret to having fabulously youthful skin. What’s also really important though is to know what to look for on your skin so as to attain early treatment.

Skin cancer is sky-rocketing with national statistics for the prevalence of melanoma being the fifth most common cancer in the UK with 13, 348 new cases reported in 2011 and women being more prone to developing this than men (Cancer research UK Statistics). There were also 102, 6028 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (eg. basal cell, squamous cell carcinoma, etc.) reported in 2011.

It is quite common to notice new growths or changes on our skin during the summer months with our skin on display. We see more skin cancer referrals in hospitals as a result during this time period.

We recommend people check for signs of skin cancer on a monthly basis, yet an astounding 96 percent of people fail to do this. According to a recent British Association of Dermatologists UK survey of more than a thousand Britons as much as 40 percent said they never check themselves. More than three in four (77 percent) would not recognise signs of a melanoma.

With the above in mind I would like to discuss the tell-tale signs you should be wary of when you look at your skin or someone else’s skin this summer:

1. Any lesion on the skin which is new and has not spontaneously resolved over a period of three months or more needs to have a name put to it. Most blemishes or spots spontaneously resolve over three months. If it’s not going away don’t ignore it and please seek advice from your GP or come and see me for a consultation.

A mole may have been there for years. However if it is changing in:

A= Asymmetry
B=Border irregularity
C= Colour change or developing different tones of colour within the mole
D= Diameter change i.e. rapid growth of the mole over a short period of time i.e. doubling of the moles size over 3-4 months or even a gradual increase in size of a mole over a long period of time without your body size or shape changing.
E= Evolving mole i.e. a mole that’s changing with no specific features but doesn’t quite look right!

3. Any lesion on your skin which bleeds spontaneously (ie. without associated trauma or displays crusting and non-healing) may be a sign of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer particularly   basal cell carcinoma or rodent ulcers grow slowly where as squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma often grow at a faster rate. Most people attend skin cancer clinics with a crusting, bleeding non-healing lesion with variable rates of growth often as they have found blood on clothes or bed-clothes.

With all this information to hand if you do see a concerning lesion on yourself or on someone else and be a skin cancer champion and book a consultation with me … you never know you could just save someone’s life!

Help us help you detect skin cancer sooner.

Share this: