Over the course of their lifetimes, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer whether it be melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. In most cases, skin cancer is highly curable if caught and treated early. Catching skin cancer early requires being aware of the signs of skin cancer and by regularly getting skin checks at a dermatology clinic. Noticing changes in the skin and pointing them out to a dermatologist is key. However, many people miss areas where skin cancer can form. Here are some unexpected places where skin cancer can form.
Often people look for the skin changes that can indicate skin cancer in obvious places such as on the arms, legs, or the back. However, skin cancer can occur anywhere including the ears. Skin cancer can also occur on any part of the ear, even in the interior. One of the main reasons that the ears are at risk for skin cancer is that people often forget to put sunscreen on their ears despite the fact that the ears are often exposed to UV radiation. Checking the ears for any skin changes is important to do regularly. Also, remembering to wear hats and putting on sunscreen are essential.
One place that many people don't check for skin cancer is the buttocks. Skin cancer can occur on the buttocks and even between the cheeks. Checking the buttocks and between the cheeks for skin cancer is very important. The best way to check this difficult-to-reach area is to use a handheld mirror to check for any skin changes.
Another area where skin cancer can develop is the lips. The lips are often exposed to UV radiation which can increase the risk of cancer development. Skin cancer on the lips is actually common and can be cured the majority of the time. However, treatment can lead to scarring which is highly visible on the lips. The best way to prevent skin cancer on the lips is by applying lip products with sunscreen regularly.
Changes in the nails are often something that goes unnoticed. However, the nails can be indicative of skin cancer. Changes such as dark lines beneath the nails can actually be caused by melanoma. Anyone who notices dark lines underneath the nails should visit a deramatology clinic as soon as possible in order to determine whether or not it's melanoma.
Skin cancer is very common and can often be easily treated when caught early. However, it is important to check the entire body for skin changes. Skin cancer can occur anywhere and early detection is key. For an expert medical opinion, go to a dermatologist such as J Kent Bartruff MD PA.