Cancer — it's an unpleasant thing to think about, but talking about it can do wonders in helping you take steps to prevent its spread. In fact, of all its many types, skin cancer is alarmingly the most common, with one in five Americans contracting it at some point in their life. Yet, there are quite a few ways you can detect each type of skin cancer, which is important for getting it treated right away. Melanoma is probably the most infamous type of skin cancer, despite being rarer than its cousins, as it is the most deadly form. Yet, while general wisdom is just watch for unusual moles or growths, that is not the only way to detect melanoma.
The Dark Streak
This manifestation of melanoma is a tricky one, often being confused with fungal infections in the toenail or fingernail. It manifests as a long, dark streak in the nail and can be quite unpleasant to look at. Caucasian Americans, in particular, should be wary about any black nail discolorations as this symptom points strongly toward cancerous origins or other serious diseases. Regardless of your race, however, if you detect a long black streak that persist for more than a few weeks, it is probably best to consult a dermatologist for testing.
It Can Be Detected Ocularly
Although one of the rarer manifestations, sometimes melanoma can form ocularly, leaving individuals with vision problems in one eye. The most common symptoms for ocular melanoma are blurred vision and a painful pressure behind the eyeball. Ocular melanoma generally only manifests in one eye as well, meaning that any sudden irregularities in vision should be looked at right away. This symptom is particularly rare, which leads to to be excluded from most skin cancer test so usually it is only detected this way if you mention vision problems to your doctor.
The Bruise That Won't Go Away
Melanoma can also manifest as a bruise that seemingly won't go away beneath the skin. Generally, a healthy individual will heal from a bruise rather quickly and usually within two weeks. Nevertheless, if you notice a bruise that either gets worse or doesn't begin to change colors at all after two weeks it is wise to consult a dermatologist to rule out whether or not is potentially cancerous.
Knowing all the symptoms is important in treating melanoma due to the fact that survivability rates are drastically higher the earlier it is caught.
To learn more, contact a dermatology clinic like Vail Dermatology.