Oncologist Questions Skin Cancer

What are the early signs of identifying skin cancer?

I have a history of skin cancer in my family as my mother and her two sisters also suffered it. Is the condition hereditary? Also, are there any early signs of identifying skin cancer?

1 Answer

Skin cancer affects men and women at an alarmingly high rate. Some families are subject to a higher risk due to a abnormal gene that may be hereditary, so if cancer is in your family, then you should see a genetic counselor whom can direct you and may even recommend a blood test. This is not the most common reason for cancer as sun exposure is the number one cause as is the amount of sunburns you've had in your life. Other risk factors are light skin, light colored eyes, i.e., blue, green, hazel, light-colored hair, although anyone can get skin cancer regardless of these factors. The three most common skin cancers are basal cell, squamous cell and Melanoma, with Melanoma being the least common, but the most deadly. You should see a dermatologist every year to get "body mapping," which is when the doctor looks at your entire body and "maps" where all your birth marks are as well as any new or irregular moles that may be present. The doctor may biopsy a skin lesion at that time if it looks suspicious. The doctors as well as you should follow the ABCDE rule when it comes to skin cancer. These letters stand for Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color, Diameter, and Evolving size, shape, and color. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor or dermatologist to discuss all of this and use sunscreen! Sun exposure is necessary for vitamin D activation, but in limited quantities.
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