Are You Missing the Signs of Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is becoming more common in the UK, with more than 100,000 people being diagnosed with it every year. However, a recent survey of more than 2000 British people has revealed that the warning signs of melanoma are too often being missed or ignored.
A problem that could be solved with a simple mole removal procedure if detected early can end up developing into a serious or even fatal illness if it is ignored. Approximately 2500 people die every year in Britain because of melanoma. The number of deaths has increased by 35.8% over the last decade. Being more aware of the dangers of sun exposure and performing regular checks of our moles can help to bring these numbers down again.
Missing the Signs of Melanoma
Many people in the UK are failing to take proper care of their skin or to seek help when they have a suspicious mole:
- 23% have never checked or counted their moles, with many younger people falsely believing that they are too young to be affected by skin cancer.
- 3% have been worried about a mole for more than three months but haven’t been to see a doctor about it.
- 2% have a mole that is itchy or bleeding, but which hasn’t been checked by a dermatologist.
Getting It Right
- 31% are checking their moles once a month, as recommended by dermatologists and the British Skin Foundation.
- 38% use sun cream every time they are out in the sun.
Protecting our skin from the sun can help to prevent the damage that causes skin cancer. Checking our moles regularly for changes in size, shape, symmetry or colour can ensure that any potential signs of melanoma are detected as soon as possible. The mole can then be checked by a dermatologist so that a mole removal can be performed if necessary. Mole removal can often eliminate the melanoma completely, as long as it was spotted early. Although further treatment may be required if the cancer cells have spread, the sooner you see a dermatologist about a suspicious mole, the better.