Use These Descriptions, Sources of Images, And Tips To Recognize Melanoma And Other Skin Cancer
An individual’s skin is subject to various kinds of damage, some of which are destructive. Do you know how to recognize melanoma or other skin cancer in your senior loved one? Pegasus home care experts in Eagle Rock and elsewhere present facts and tips to assist you.
Although there are various types of skin cancer, they all begin with abnormal growth of skin cells. If detected early, each kind is treatable. Skin cancer is not contagious.
Recognize Melanoma And Skin Cancer By Cause And Location
Following are descriptions of each type:
- Basal cell carcinoma: also known as BCC, these growths are the most common type of skin cancer. They’re usually caused by too much sun, so they’re most often found on the arms, head, and neck. BCCs can also grow in other parts of your senior’s body. If left untreated, they penetrate below the surface and damage bones and nerves.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: SCC growths are the second most common type of skin cancer. They are also the result of too much sun and form on exposed areas. As well as arms, neck, and head, SCCs favor the edge of ears, faces, chests, and backs. Untreated SCCs grow deep, causing damage, and can spread to other parts of your senior’s body.
- Melanoma: melanoma usually appears from an existing mole. It may also grow suddenly from a new spot. It is aggressive and deadly, spreading to other parts of the body. As well as invading skin cells, melanoma grows in mucous membranes, such as the moist coverings on your senior’s lips or eyes. It is more common in men, often appearing on their trunk. In women, melanoma often appears on their legs. It can, however, appear anywhere on the body of both sexes.
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL): CTCL is a form of blood cancer that causes a rash in the T-cells located on your senior’s skin. It’s rare and develops in areas infrequently exposed to sunlight.
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP): DFSP is a rare skin cancer that grows slowly. The cause is unknown but may result from an injury to the skin. If left untreated, it penetrates deep into underlying tissues and bone.
- Merkel cell carcinoma: MCC is rare but aggressive and spreads throughout the body. It’s found primarily in individuals more than 50 years of age. Most are fair-skinned and have not protected themselves from the sun.
- Sebaceous carcinoma: SC is another of the rare, but aggressive, types of skin cancer. It may be caused by radiation or Muir Torré syndrome. It affects more women than men. It usually starts on your senior’s eyelid but may grow wherever sebaceous (oil) glands are located.
- Kaposi sarcoma: KS is rare. It’s found in individuals who have human herpesvirus 8 (HHV 8), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or have had an organ transplant. It develops in the cells that line the lymph and blood vessels.
Individuals of all ages, race, and lifestyle can develop skin cancer.
Recognize Melanoma And Skin Cancer By Appearance
Each type of skin cancer can be identified by its appearance, as follows:
- BCC: can look like a scar, reddish and itchy patches, small pink or red bumps that are translucent, pearly, pink growths with raised edges and a dip in the center, or an open sore that doesn’t heal.
- SCC: may be scaly or rough red patches, raised growths that might have a dip in the center, open sores that won’t heal, or a warty appearance.
- Melanoma: use the ABCDE method to determine if a dark spot is melanoma:
- A = asymmetry. The two sides of the growth don’t match.
- B = border. The edges may be scalloped, notched, or otherwise uneven.
- C = color. The growth includes more than one color.
- D = diameter. The growth is more than 1/4 inch in diameter.
- E = evolving. The growth is changing in size, elevation, shape, or color, or has begun to bleed, itch, or form a crust.
- CTCL: the rash may look like eczema. The skin may be swollen, red, hot, and very itchy.
- DFSP: a small bump that looks like a pimple, scar, or birthmark that slowly becomes a raised, reddish patch.
- Merkel: can look like an insect bite, cyst, sore, or stye. It grows quickly and may be pink or red.
- Sebaceous: a small, round growth that feels firm. It’s painless.
- Kaposi: purplish or reddish patches on skin.
Seek medical attention for any growth that begins to bleed or changes in appearance.
Recognize Melanoma And Skin Cancer Using These Images
You can find images that can help you identify melanoma and other skin cancers at the following sites:
- Skin Cancer Image Gallery
- How to spot a BCC
- What does A SCC look like
- Melanoma slideshow
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
This infographic reminds you of where to look for skin cancers.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our comprehensive home care services in Eagle Rock and our other locations are customized to meet your needs. Individuals are treated with dignity and respect for their privacy regardless of their medical condition.