The next time you are surrounded by a group of friends or family, take a look around. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime—that one could be you or a person you hold dear to your heart.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Annually, 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed in more than 2 million people. Throughout the years, more information has been acquired about the different types of skin cancer, the severity of each type, what causes the disease and many more details. Fortunately, the best news regarding skin cancer is catching the disease early means the chance for successful treatment is much higher.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) established "ABCDE" warning signs to be aware of when examining your skin for changes or growths:
Asymmetry: One half of the growth does not match the other.
Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
Color: The pigmentation is mottled or not uniform.
Diameter: The width is greater than six millimeters (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).
Evolving: A mole or growth that looks different.
Any unusual change in the skin, especially a new growth or sore that doesn't heal, should be checked promptly by your physician or dermatologist. If diagnosed and treated early, chances for successful treatment are much higher.