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Skin Cancer

Pigmentation-producing cells can become cancerous.

Symptoms: One symptom of skin cancer is the unusual growth or change of an existing mole. Another important symptom of skin cancer is a spot on the skin that changes its colour or shape. The acronym ABCDE is often used as a reference for the warning signs of skin cancer and melanoma. It stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, evolution.

  • A – Asymmetry, or when one half of the mark appears different than the other.

  • B – Border, when the mark has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.

  • C – Color, if the mark is varied from one area to the other. It might have shades of tan, brown, black, or be white, red, or blue.

  • D – Diameter. Melanomas are usually bigger than 6mm. In some cases, they are smaller.

  • E – Evolving, when a mole or mark looks different than others on one’s body, or different than it used to.

Causes Nearly 90% of melanomas are caused by UV rays of the sun. Causes could include a family history of other types of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma) or a personal history of excessive sun exposure with frequent sun burns. (courtesy: the American Academy of Dermatology).

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