How to recognize skin cancer abcde rule

Getting skin cancer is something you cannot control. It is primarily caused by too much and too intense sun radiation. People find it enjoyable lying and baking in the sun for long until all sides are crispy brown. But this of course has consequences. The skin can react on it by producing strange skin stains in different sizes and coloration's. Overall the number of cases increases every year as it is the most common form of cancer.  If treated quickly the person can recover from it without big consequences. That means it is wise to check your skin regularly on stains and skin deformation. Next to that you can prevent it from happening by putting on enough protection and by avoiding intense sun-rays. 



Newly formed skin cancer has the tendency to occur in the facial area. It can begin on the lips, ears, in the neck and the back of the hand (these are the most common places as it is in direct contact with UV). It expresses itself by quick emerging ulcers which don’t seem to heal, wart like lumps, other unexplained itchy places, easy bleeding skin with changing color and size. Do you recognize yourself in these conditions it is wise to consult your general practitioner as it might be a serious condition. If it is in an early stage it can be treated well.


There are different kinds 

Two of the most common forms are less dangerous types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma occurs frequently with older people as the skin has had much sunlight. It is recognizable as a glassy red lump a few millimeters in size on which small blood vessels can be seen. This can grow into an incurable wound with chance on further growth. Squamous carcinoma on the other hand results in actinic keratosis aka a sun radiation elevated rough wart and/ or crusty like stains present on the skin. It can vary in size from several millimeters to many centimeters. It can also occur on old scars due to a local unbalanced immune system. This kind of skin cancer can grow big whereby cutting it out is the first option. A third skin cancer is the melanoma, but this can spread rapidly infecting all other parts of the body through the lymph nodes network.


Recognizing through the ABCDE rule

A melanoma is comparable with a mole, but a mole normally is round in shape. It is necessary for you to check your skin regularly on deformations and color change. If you react quickly the consequences of the melanoma can be restrained. The melanoma can be distinguished from a mole by using the ABCDE rule. Asymmetry: has it an upright bulging or a point. Border: a mole normally is round, but if it has strange forms there might be something wrong. Color: what kind of color has it? Is it dark, red, purple, black or a strange mix? Diameter: if the mole or stain is bigger than half a centimeter it needs to be checked regularly. Elevation: if the skin gets thicker or has lumps and holes then that is suspicious.


Relation skin cancer and the sun

It can be genetically determined but can also occur without any cause. Primarily cause is how much sun or UV radiation the skin gets. The more UV the more skin gets damaged resulting in greater chance of getting skin cancer. It is wise to avoid the sun as much as possible. If you are a sun worshiper you will need to use a sunblock with enough protection. Preventing it is always better then healing. 


How is it treated?

If treated quickly the person can recover without complications and without it returning. The kind of treatment depends on its size, where it is located and what kind of cancer it is. Basal cell carcinoma can be removed with a small operation or radiation. With squamous carcinoma the infected skin needs to be cut away, needs to be frozen using nitrogen, burning, radiation or light therapy. In the case of a melanoma the suspected area needs to be removed and needs to be judged how thick the cancer really is. Based on the estimation of the doctor more skin or tissue needs to be removed. If it hasn't spread there won’t be a form of after-treatment, but if a grown lymph node is found it needs to be removed as well. Additional treatment depends on tissue investigation. It can mean chemo or additional radiation.