If you know what early warning signs to look for, skin cancer can be detected at an early stage and cured without the use of aggressive treatments which cause severe side effects. Unlike other cancers, skin cancer’s earliest warning signs are openly visible on the skin. The advantage of early detection is lost if you don’t know what to look for and if you fail to do regular skin examinations or consult a doctor if you find any irregularities. Skin cancer images can be used as a guide when doing a skin self-examination, showing you what kind of irregularities require medical attention.
Early detection of skin cancer is extremely important. When detected early, skin cancer can usually be removed through a simple outpatient surgery; this can even be true for the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma. If the disease is allowed to advance and the tumor is allowed to grow to the point that it may begin to metastasize, local lymph nodes may need to be removed and tested for cancerous cells. If cancerous cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes, radiation or chemotherapy may be necessary to destroy any remaining cancer cells throughout the body.
If skin cancer has further progressed before treatment, other tumors may begin to grow in other parts of the body. These tumors, though they may be in other organs or systems, are made up of the same cancerous skin cells. If one or more tumors appear in other parts of the body, further surgeries and more aggressive treatments may be necessary, and the point may be reached where curing the cancer is impossible and only the symptoms are treated.
Early detection being so important and skin cancer being such a common disease, people need to learn not just prevention methods but also methods of early detection. Just as women need to do regular breast self-examinations, everyone needs to do periodic skin self-examinations, checking thoroughly all parts of their skin for any irregularities that may be a sign of skin cancer. Exemplary images of skin cancer symptoms can help people recognize skin irregularities which require medical examination to find out whether they are cancerous.
Warning signs for melanoma include any changes in moles or nevi, especially dysplastic nevi, or moles which are irregularly shaped or colored. Nonmelanoma skin cancer can be more difficult to detect for people who don’t know what to look for, as it can present itself as small, relatively harmless-looking lumps, or as sores or rashes that don’t seem to heal properly. If a person sees an image of this type of skin cancer, they will know to see a doctor rather than waiting it out and seeing if it heals on its own.
As long as they are accompanied by some background information, skin cancer images can be an important tool for people who wish to detect skin cancer in its early stages.