Skin Cancer Prevention

Reducing Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Symptoms

Skin cancer usually appears as a growth that changes in color, shape or size. This growth can look like a mole or a sore that does not heal.

Melanoma can appear anywhere on your body. The main sign is a change in the size, shape or color of a mole that is larger than the head of a pencil eraser. Melanomas usually are irregular in shape, with uneven edges. They can be more than one color and may change color.

ABDC skin cancer check

Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas usually appear on parts of your body that get the most sun. They can vary widely in appearance. They can be red, white or pink. They can be rough and dry or smooth and shiny. They also can appear as a sore that does not heal.

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

You are more likely to get skin cancer if you:

  • Are male and over 40
  • Have a family history of skin cancer
  • Have a history of severe sunburns
  • Have been exposed to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, coal tar or creosote
  • Have been exposed to radioactive substances such as radium
  • Have been exposed to strong X-rays
  • Have fair skin and burn easily
  • Have many moles and freckles
  • Have used tanning beds or sun lamps
  • Spend a lot of time working or playing in the sun without protection

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or make an appointment with The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

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