Spotting Possible Skin Cancer in Others - I’ve Taught Him Well
My husband told his mother that she needed to get checked for skin cancer. Spotting possible skin cancer in others? I’ve taught him well.
A little background story
Recently, my mother-in-law was hospitalized for hip replacement surgery. Keep in mind that like me, you never see her without makeup. Unless I’m unable to put on makeup (like right after surgery), I always have it on. So this was one of the first times in years we’d seen her bare face.
He saw her first and was with her longer, since he’d taken off work for the surgery. After she was out of recovery and started feeling a little better, he noticed a spot on her face. He asked her about it, and she mentioned it was just a sore.
Knowing my background and history, he told her to get it checked as soon as possible. You see, one of my skin cancers started as a sore as well. It was my second bout with skin cancer on my face, and this spot wouldn’t heal. It would continually weep fluid. While it wasn’t huge on the surface, I knew something was up. Oddly, my first skin cancer had none of those tell-tale signs.
Spread the word
I feel good that he listened to me and started spotting possible skin cancers too. I’ve seen a spot on a friend’s face I told them to check out. And like me, he saw his mother’s spot and encouraged her to check it out.
Obviously, if you see a stranger it’s not always as easy to tell them to get checked. You can, but you’d have to go about it in a way that doesn’t sound nosy. In those cases, you have to judge for yourself.
How do you spot a possible skin cancer?
Not everything you see on someone else is skin cancer. But there are a few signs that leads to needing a checkup from your dermatologist.
There’s something called the ABCDEs of skin cancer.
- Asymmetry. This is where you look and see if each side of the spot or mole doesn’t match
- Borders. Much like asymmetry, the borders of a skin cancer are often irregular
- Colors. These spots often have colors that don’t match
- Diameter. Size matters when it comes to skin cancer. A spot or mole larger than the size of a pencil eraser (6 mm) is cause for concern
- Evolving. Spots or moles that continue to change color or shape should be looked into
Since early detection is crucial, if you see any of these types of spots, or see them on someone you know, it is important for you or anyone to see a dermatologist. There are many treatment plans, and not all are invasive. As long as it’s caught early, skin cancer is often removed and presents no further issue after treatment.
So, if you see someone who may need to see a dermatologist, tell them. A way to make it easier is to let them know you’re only mentioning it because you’ve been there. And if it’s a family member or friend, you are simply showing you care.
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