May 25, 2023

Skin Cancer

May 25, 2023

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, but most skin cancers can be cured if caught early. There are two main types of skin cancer: non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma skin cancer.

Most skin cancers are caused by skin damage that happens from exposure to the sun. The damage from sun exposure over a long period of time or from a history of getting sunburnt.

Best way is to cover up with sunscreen (high Factor 50 SPF), wear clothing and hats and avoid peak times of the day when the sun is at its strongest (11 – 1pm). And limit your time on sunbeds.

People with a history of sunburn or overexposure to the sun in childhood also have a greater risk of developing both types of skin cancer.

Signhealth has produced a BSL video on skin cancer, it can be found here – click on hyperlink:

Signhealth Skin Cancer BSL Video

Common symptoms of skin cancer include a sore area of skin that:

  • Doesn’t heal within 4 weeks.
  • Looks unusual.
  • Hurts is itchy, bleeds, crusts, or scabs for more than 4 weeks.
  • Ulcer – that doesn’t heal within 4 weeks.
  • A Lump – small slow growing, shiny and pink or red.
  • Red patches on your skin – These red patches could also be itchy. This could be due to other non-cancerous skin conditions, best to get it checked to make sure.
  • Freckles or moles – A change to a mole or freckle can be a sign of another type of skin cancer called melanoma.

Non-melanoma skin cancers tend to appear gradually and anywhere on the body but are most common the areas of the skin most exposed to the sun such as the head, neck, lips, ears, and the backs of hands. Old scars, burns, ulcers, or wounds that do not heal are also at-risk areas. They will often not be painful.

Some of the possible signs to look out for:

If not sure, please always go and see your GP/Doctor.

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