A Scottish doctor shared symptoms of a red flag skin cancer as only one in five people in Scotland is certain of identifying the signs.
The expert says young people may not know the exact symptoms of melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – and often delay going to the doctor.
“We are concerned that symptom awareness is so low and that young people are often reluctant to seek medical help if they notice signs of possible melanoma on their skin,” Dr. Proby said.
She explained: “Red flags that indicate early melanoma include a change in the size, shape or color of a new or pre-existing ‘mole’, especially if this change occurs fairly quickly for weeks or just a few months.”
“Early diagnosis is key to the survival chances of people with melanoma. If it can be caught before it spreads, then patient outcomes are much improved.”
It comes as Melanoma Focus found that only 19 per cent of the Scottish public were confident that they could identify symptoms of melanoma skin cancer.
The survey found that knowledge levels differed significantly between men and women.
The results come from a UK-wide survey of knowledge of melanoma skin cancer from the charity.
Female respondents were much more likely to identify all symptoms and were more likely to know that SPF30 or more is generally recommended for sunscreen protection.
Men scored much lower with just 58 percent – compared to 81 percent of women – knowing that a change in an existing blemish or injury could be a sign of melanoma skin cancer.
Only 57 percent of men know that a blemish that has an uneven edge could be a symptom as opposed to 78 percent of women.
The charity says the most common specific place for melanoma skin cancer in women the legs are. In males, it most likely occurs on the back.
Cases of melanoma are on the rise Scotland and it is now the fifth most common cancer in women and the sixth most common cancer in men.
There are about 2,300 deaths from melanoma skin cancer in the UK each year – more than six a day – and the number of cases is projected to increase.
William Munro of Aberdeen was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in 2015.
He said: “It’s so important for people to learn the signs of melanoma. I had no idea how serious it was and I ignored a changing skin spot for a long time before I went to my doctor. It didn’t hurt and I felt good. So I didn’t treat it as a priority. “
“When I was diagnosed, it spread to my lymph nodes and my treatment was much more complicated and serious than it could have been.
“I finally needed major surgery, a very difficult course of immunotherapy and I now have to take regular medication and carry it with me always because of its effect. However, it’s better than risking having melanoma spread, but it was a very. Difficult journey.”
He urged: “Don’t delay seeking medical advice if you notice symptoms, it could save your life.”
Susanna Daniels, CEO of Melanoma Focus, said: “Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. However, if detected early, most cases can be cured by surgical removal. Usually, the sooner this is done, the better. a long-term perspective. will probably be. “
Symptoms of melanoma skin cancer
Melanoma Focus advises using the ABCDE checklist when looking at your skin.
The charity recommends an appointment to see your doctor if any of your skin blemishes or lesions show the following:
- Asymmetry: two halves differ in shape
- Shore: irregular or serrated edges
- Color: uneven / expert; shades of black, white, gray, brown or pink; two or more colors = suspicious
- Diameter: for most melanomas, at least 6mm
- Evolving: changing in size, shape or color
- Funny: if it looks weird, or you’re not happy about it for some reason
While checklists are important for the most common form of melanoma, they are not entirely reliable because melanoma can vary and may not show these features.
Here are the key signs to watch out for:
Changed – it’s new or seems to have changed since you last saw it (don’t look for details; you can see it has changed just by looking at the injury, that’s enough)
It doesn’t go away – after a new lesion has appeared, it stays on the skin for more than six to eight weeks.
Strange (the most crucial test) – it just looks weird, worries you or seems to be different from other lesions on your skin, so you should see it from a doctor who can refer you to a specialist – usually a dermatologist.
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