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i have a tiny mole/spot on the top of my shoulder at my neck. it has suddenly become quite sensitive to touch and looks a bit red. I am worried. i also have a red patch of what looks like dry skin on my nose and back. Could this be cancer?

By June 14, 2010 - 4:36am
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i have fair skin and do burn if im not careful but i also take a tan if im in the sun long enough. I go on holiday a couple of times a year and have used sunbeds in the past. i am 25 years old. there isn't a history of skin cancer in my family. i am extremely worried about these changes in my skin and would be grateful if you could help. thanks

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HERWriter Guide

Hi s3eph - Thanks for reaching out for information about skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States, According to The Skin Cancer Foundation each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
Like you I'm a fair-skinned person, and that means we have a higher risk than others. It's really important to understand and use the various methods that protect against skin cancer, such as using sunscreen. Regular self-exams are important too, and you can learn more about them here: http://www.skincancer.org/Self-Examination/

In terms of what you're experiencing right now, we cannot provide a diagnosis. Red spots are not a typical sign of skin cancer. These are the general warning signs:

* A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
* A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
changes color
increases in size or thickness
changes in texture
is irregular in outline
is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser
appears after age 21
* A spot that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
* An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

You can find photographs on the Skin Cancer Foundation website to compare to what you are experiencing on your own skin. The best way to determine what you have, and to start on a path to regular skin care and health, is to have a full body exam from a dermatologist and then follow up with monthly self exams.

Good luck to you, Pat

June 14, 2010 - 5:46pm
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