Jul 6, 2021 | Concerns

How do I know if I may have Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer Statistics:

Your skin is the largest organ your body and skin cancers are the most common of all cancer types. About one third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancers, and the rate continues to rise. Those 2 factors give us the very high likelihood that we may develop this potentially dangerous type of cancer quite easily.

How many people die of skin cancer every year in Canada?

1,300 Canadians will die from melanoma skin cancer. 4,400 men will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 870 will die from it. 3,600 women will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 450 will die from it.

  • One out of five people develop skin cancer by age 70
  • Every hour, at least two people die from skin cancer
  • If you’ve had five or more sunburns in your life, you’re twice as likely to get skin cancer

The good news is that, if caught early, almost all types of skin cancer can be treated and survived. We encourage all our clients to learn how to spot the possible signs of pre-cancer to be able to seek further consultation with a Licensed Skincare Professional or Dermatologist.

What skin cancers may look like:

  • Changing mole or mole that looks different from your others.
  • Dome-shaped growth.
  • Scaly patch.
  • Non-healing sore or sore that heals and returns.
  • Brown or black streak under a nail.

What exactly is Skin Cancer?

As you may not know. your skin is constantly renewing itself. New cells grow and push the older ones to the outer surface where they die and fall off in a perfect normal skin cycle. The constant exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays over your lifetime damages your DNA and triggers mutations in your skin cells.

All cancer starts with abnormal growth and behavior of cells, and skin cancer is no different. Your skin produces new, often mutated, cells at an accelerated pace, and they build up on the surface. Not all skin growths are cancerous, but if yours are, early treatment is your best chance of surviving it.

Types of skin cancer and what they look like.

There are many kinds of skin cancer, and they all look a little different. If you notice any changes to your skin, question the changes. Every person should be inspecting their skin regularly to be able to catch something different.

Moles are very common and usually not dangerous, but some can be cancerous. The key is if they change. If any of your moles change in color, size, height, or shape, it’s time to get them checked. Other types of skin cancer show up as a textural issue, a lesion, or a sore. If something is just not healing, get it checked!

 

Here are the most common cancers of the skin and their characteristics:

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin lesion. It’s a scaly patch of skin that shows up anywhere the sun sees your body skin, like your hands, neck, face, and head. You’re especially at risk if you have fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes. If actinic keratosis isn’t treated, it can develop into squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

If you have rough lesions that are red and scaly, you may have squamous cell carcinoma, it can be a very aggressive type of skin cancer. It starts on the outer layer of your epidermis, but if you ignore it, it can spread throughout your body.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

The top layer of your skin, the epidermis, has about 7 layers of its own, and the deepest part is called the basal layer. When the cells in that area of the epidermis become cancerous, it’s called basal cell carcinoma, and about 90% of all skin cancers fall into this category. It grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinoma looks like a white, pink, or clear mole, and you may or may not see tiny veins just under its surface.

Melanoma

Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin its color. When those cells grow abnormally and cluster, you get freckles or moles, most of which are benign. But if they become cancerous, it’s melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers.

There are four main types of melanomas, and they can appear as flat or raised patches of brown skin with irregular edges. They can take on other colors, too, like blue, red, or black, and they can affect the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and even your nails.

What to do if you think you may have spotted Skin Cancer?

It’s important to get to know your skin so that when changes occur, you can spot them right away. If you have a mole that’s getting bigger, darker, or changing shapes or colors, or if you notice any of the symptoms, mentioned above get it check out by a professional, period.

When seeing your regular Esthetician for Facials, ensure they are properly Licenced or Certified to be able to identify lesions that look suspicious. We have caught many, many skin cancers in our Clinics!

Remember if caught early skin cancer can be treated.

 

Here is a simple chart to help you identify potential skin cancers:

See below for some examples of types of Skin Cancers:

 

Always practice safe Sun Protection, wear a 40 SPF+ everyday whether it’s sunny, or overcast!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for more information.

The PRFX™ Perfect Fix Skincare Team

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