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Check your birthmarks regularly
A birthmark is a discolored patch or spot of skin that’s present at birth or develops shortly after, and its color can vary from brown, black, bluish to blue-gray. Birthmarks include moles, cafe-au-lait spots and mongolian spots.
Do regular skin checks!
According to Health Canada, skin cancer has been increasing in this country at a fairly constant rate over the past 30 years. In 2005, there were roughly 78,000 new cases of basal and squamous cell carcinomas reported, and about 4,400 new cases of malignant melanomas.
Know your A-B-C-D-Es of skin cancer ...
Atypical moles are: Asymmetrical, with an uneven shape; have irregular Borders; are usually dark brown or black in Colour; have a Diameter the size of a pencil eraser (although it is best to find a melanoma before it has grown to this size); and are Evolving or changing.
Recent Updates on Evaluation and Treatment of Skin Cancer
Two major updates have made recent news in the medical community concerning skin cancer. The first is an update on the well known ABCD guide for identifying and diagnosing melanoma. The second is the approval of Imiquimod (Aldara™, by 3M) cream, used to treat superficial basal cell cancer.
Recommended Articles on Photo Damage and Sun Protection
Sunshine, although essential for health and well being, is certainly a hazard for the skin. For many people it feels good to spend time outdoors and this makes it difficult to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Most of the sun exposure we accumulate throughout our lives, is thought to be the effect of multiple short periods of time outside. If the ozone depletion continues this may also increase our lifetime exposure
Skin cancer risk factors ...
You are at higher risk for developing skin cancer if you live in a sunny environment year-round, have experienced many bad sunburns, are fair-skinned, have an abundance of moles or freckles, or if you have a family history of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Self-Examination
Freckles, moles, and birthmarks are common, and almost all people have some of these features in varying degrees. Changes in the shape, color, size, or the outer edges can be warning signs of skin cancer.
What are the differences between freckles and moles?
Freckles and moles are areas of increased pigment (melanin) in the skin, but they're not the same thing. Melanin is a natural substance that gives colour to hair, skin, and the iris of the eye, and it serves to protect the skin against UV radiation.