Early detection of skin cancer

Early detection of skin cancer

Early detection of skin cancer, Self-examination and skin cancer screening

There are different types of skin cancer that need to be treated differently. One thing is true for all types of cancer: the sooner they are recognized, the greater the healing chances and the more gentle the treatment can be.

Own observation is important

The own observation is the most important aid for the early detection of a skin cancer, because: skin cancer precursors are visible and partly also palpable.

Through regular self-examination of your own skin you can discover at an early stage, where new skin changes occur and existing liver patches have grown. Take advantage of daylight so you do not miss anything. A mirror can help to see areas that are not so good to see. You can also ask your partner to participate in the review. Think about your arms and legs, too, to look between your fingers and feet, as well as the soles of your feet.

Pigmentals, also called moles or liver patches, are in themselves harmless, they can exist from birth or develop in the course of life. Nevertheless, a malignant skin tumor can develop from them. Therefore, it is recommended to have the skin and all liver patches regularly examined every two years as part of the statutory skin cancer screening from the age of 35.

ABCDE rule for self-examination

Skin cancer can look very different. The typical “eye diagnosis skin cancer” does not exist. If, however, a liver patch remains the same for many years or new patches of liver occur, they should be observed and presented to a dermatologist.
Skin cancer asymmetry

Early detection of skin cancer

In order to assess a liver spot properly, the ABCDE rule helps. If at least one of the following is true, you should show the liver patch to your doctor:

A as asymmetry – uneven, asymmetrical shape: A new dark skin spot is unevenly shaped – that is, not uniformly round, oval or oblong. In addition, it is possible that the shape of an already existing spot has changed.
Skin cancer control

B like border– faded, jagged or uneven and rough edges: A dark skin spot has blurred contours or grows frayed into the healthy skin area.
Skin cancer color

C like color– different colorings, lighter and darker spots in one time: Look for a spot that is not uniform in color, but mixed with pink, gray or black dots. He points to a malignant melanoma and should be fundamentally medically examined. The same applies to crusty conditions.
Skin cancer diameter

D like diameter– the diameter is at the widest point greater than five millimeters:
Pigments which are larger than 5 mm in diameter or have a hemispherical shape should be controlled.

E like evolution
Change of a pigment time within the last 3 months should be controlled by a doctor.

In addition, factors that should make you aware of this are:

Large increase and
Changes of existing liver patches,
Itching and
Bleeding from a time.

If you notice any abnormalities that make you unsure, then you should show them as much as possible to a dermatologist. Here is the motto: Dear, sometimes go to the doctor unnecessarily, as too late.

Skin cancer screening

Since 1 July 2008, insured persons from 35 years of age have been entitled to a skin cancer screening every two years, which is carried out by appropriately qualified house and skin doctors. The costs are borne by the health insurance companies. The screening , which does not replace the self-examination but supplements, pursues the goal of recognizing the three skin cancers malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma so early that they are not yet a threat to life. This is because the chances of healing are increased, complex operations and treatments can be reduced, and the anxiety and suffering of the affected person can be reduced. The burden on the health system can also be reduced.

The whole investigation takes about a quarter of an hour. Before screening you should remove nail varnish from fingernails and toenails as skin cancer can also develop under the nails. Body jewelry such as ear plugs or piercings can also make it difficult to recognize small changes. Also, do not forget make-up and elaborate hairstyles. At the beginning of the examination your doctor will inquire about your health and your pre-existing conditions. It also identifies risk factors. Then he will thoroughly inspect the whole skin, for which you have to put your clothes (more information here ).

In addition, many dermatologists today offer skin cancer care using computer-based, digital incident light microscopy. By using the method, you can examine the areas of the skin with a high magnification and store the images on the computer, which in many cases facilitates follow-up control. The investigation, however, does not count to the statutory extent of skin cancer care and therefore has to be paid for itself as a rule.
The dermatologist helps

The fear of skin cancer is a burden. However, the faster you go to the skin crust test and the clarity disappears. If a skin cancer form should be discovered, you are in the best hands at the dermatologist.

The dermatologist will tell you exactly what you have observed. After that he will look at the skin painting, once with the naked eye, but additionally with a kind of magnifying glass, the dermatoscope, to get an even better picture ,

Looks a bit conspicuously, although there is no suspicion of a skin cancer, the dermatologist will make a photo of it and re-order it for a check-up. In addition, you should also observe the findings so that you can go to the doctor for new changes. In such cases, you should not wait until the check-up date is pending.