Skin Cancer

Did you know malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the sixth most common type of cancer in men and women? Over the last 30 years in the UK rates of melanoma have risen faster than for any other cancer.

Non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) cases have risen to over 100 000 per year in the UK and basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer worldwide.

Warning signs of Melanoma

Any mole that is changing and has become itchy, sore or bleeds should be examined by a professional. The ABCD rule can be helpful in spotting a melanoma:

  • Asymmetry- look for a difference between the 2 halves
  • Border- irregular or blurred border, notches or uneven edges
  • Colour- uneven colour or various colours, especially black
  • Diameter- a mole over 6mm in diameter may be suspicious

Warning signs of non-melanoma skin cancer

Skin cancers may be very subtle. The following may alert you to a non-melanoma cancer:

  • Red, pink or shiny lumps especially on sun-exposed areas such as the face
  • An area of skin that crusts, scabs, itches, bleeds or doesn't heal after about 4 weeks
  • An ulcer or non-healing area of skin
  • A red patch of skin or scar-like area