What happens if you catch skin cancer early?
But when it’s caught early, melanoma often is curable. That’s why it’s so important to be familiar with your skin and report any changes to your dermatologist right away, especially if you’ve had a significant amount of exposure to tanning beds in the past. Get into the habit of checking your skin once a month.
Why is it important to detect melanoma early?
This form of cancer starts in the melanocytes, cells deep in the epidermis, or in moles on the surface of the skin that produce pigment. Early detection and treatment are critical to prevent this cancer from spreading throughout the body.
Why is skin cancer important?
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and most cases are preventable. Skin cancer greatly affects quality of life, and it can be disfiguring or even deadly. Medical treatment for skin cancer creates substantial health care costs for individuals, families, and the nation.
What can happen if skin cancer is not treated early?
However, left untreated, BCCs can grow deeper into the skin and damage surrounding skin, tissue, and bone. Occasionally, a BCC can become aggressive, spreading to other parts of the body and even becoming life threatening.
How is skin cancer prevented?
Practice Sun Safety
- Stay in the shade.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
How early is early for melanoma?
While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it’s a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm, or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger. Some experts say it is also important to look for any lesion, no matter what size, that is darker than others. Rare, amelanotic melanomas are colorless.
Is melanoma serious if caught early?
Melanoma is the most invasive skin cancer with the highest risk of death. While it’s a serious skin cancer, it’s highly curable if caught early. Prevention and early treatment are critical, especially if you have fair skin, blonde or red hair and blue eyes.
Can early melanoma be cured?
Melanoma is usually curable when detected and treated early. Once melanoma has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes more difficult to treat and can be deadly.
Can kids get skin cancer?
Key points about skin cancer in children
Skin cancer is rare in children. Skin cancer is more common in people with light skin, light-colored eyes, and blond or red hair. Follow the ABCDE rule to tell the difference between a normal mole and melanoma. Biopsy is used to diagnose skin cancer.
Can you survive skin cancer?
Across all stages of melanoma, the average five-year survival rate in the U.S. is 93 percent. The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent.