Having years of sun exposure plays a significant role in the growth of skin cancers. It also explains why the majority of skin cancers occur on exposed areas of the skin, i.e. the face, neck, décolletage and backs of the hands. The majority of solar related skin lesions occur in middle age and in elderly people
The majority of skin cancers are slow growing and so do not spread rapidly. Being on the skin surface they are usually diagnosed at an early stage.
Malignant melanomas are the exception. This type of melanoma has the potential to spread quickly. Most melanomas arise from a pre-existing pigmented mole.
Moles and Pigmentation
Moles may be flat or elevated. Sometimes they grow hairs. The most important feature however is pigmentation.
When should you be suspicious of a mole? Know your ABCDE.
A. Asymmetry: If you were to draw a line down the middle of the mole, the two sides should match, meaning it is symmetrical.
B. Border: A benign mole has smooth, even borders.
C. Color: Most benign moles are all one color, often a single shade of brown.
D. Diameter: Benign moles usually have a small diameter that malignant ones.
E. Evolving: Benign moles stay the same over time. Be alert when a mole start to evolve or change in any way.