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These are the skin cancer warning signs you should never ignore

Indy 100 logoIndy 100 1/05/2017 Bridie Pearson-Jones

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Skin cancer isn't uncommon, there have been 15,419 cases of melanoma in the UK since 2014 according to Cancer Research UK.

The good news is it's preventable and treatable if you catch it early. 

Unlike other types of cancer, more than 1 in 4 cases are diagnosed in people under 50. 

Here are seven things you should look out for.

1. You notice an 'ugly mole'

Keep an eye out for a mole that looks different to the others on your body. You can see some examples of what to look out for through the NHS website.

Remember, moles you're born with can develop into skin cancer and not all 'new' moles are dangerous.

Dr. Debra Wattenberg, a New York dermatologist told USA Today. "A lot of people have moles that look sort of scary, but they’ve got 20 of them on their arm or their back. And then they have one that’s totally different looking. Usually, it’s the ‘ugly duckling’ — the one that stands out — that’s problematic."

2. There's a vertical dark streak on your nail 

It's not that well known that melanomas of the nail can develop - but they can. Famously Bob Marley died at 36 of acral lentiginous melanoma which appeared as a dark spot under his toenail and spread to his liver.

The cancer can appear like a pigmented dark streak down your nail, or something that looks like a blood blister towards the base of the nail. 

Remember to remove nail polish when you go for a skin check.

3. You get vision problems

The second most common type of melanoma is melanoma of the eye - which can only be discovered during an eye exam.

It's important to get it checked as half of patients will never get symptoms.

4. A spot that won't go away

Some cancers can appear like a pimple that doesn't clear up - or may go away and come right back in the same place.

5. You notice a mole on your foot

Many people have spots on the sole of their feet - which they should definitely get checked out.

A lot of people don't actively look at their feet so these often go unnoticed.

6. There's pigmentation after you've had a mole removed

If you've had a mole removed and you start seeing pigmentation around the scar - get it checked.

7. There's a black spot inside your cheek

The inside of your cheek, nasal cavity, anal region and the vagina are other less known locations where you can get melanoma.

If you would like more information visit the NHS website for advice and images of what to look out for.


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