Fall skin cancer check

Fall is a great time to self-check for signs of skin cancer.

There was plenty of sun over this Michigan summer.

Spending time in that sun exposes everyone — and their skin — to a potentially harmful amount of UV (ultraviolet) rays.

Even though skin may be layered with sunscreen, there’s still a chance for skin damage.

As we move deeper into the fall, now is a good time to check for any potential signs of skin cancer.


Knowing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is critical to catching the disease early and receiving treatment while it’s in its earliest stage.

When performing a self-exam, here are the signs to look out for:

  • Unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes, markings, or changes in the way an area of the skin looks or feels
  • Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
  • Raised growths or lumps, sometimes with a lower area in the center
  • Open sores (which may have oozing or crusted areas) that do not heal, or that heal and then come back
  • Wart-like growths
  • Dark or pigmented skin lesions with irregular edges or color change


The Skin Cancer Foundation provides some additional signs to look out for that may indicate melanoma.

Melanoma is a less common type of skin cancer that is more likely to spread to lymph nodes and other organs of the body.

The signs are called the ABCDEs of melanoma:

A – Asymmetry: One half of a mole or spot does not match the other half.

B – Border: The outside edge is irregular, ragged, or scalloped, and not smooth.

C – Color: The color of the mole is not the same all over. There can be shades of black, brown, white, blue or red.

D – Diameter or Dark: The area is larger than an eraser on the end of a pencil (6mm) or the area is getting larger. Also, if the lesion is darker than others, this may be a sign of skin damage or cancer.

E – Evolving: Any changes or any new symptoms can be a warning sign.

View the types of skin cancer from the American Cancer Society.

Take any concerns to a physician attention, to allow him or her to examine the area, run tests if needed and potentially make a referral to a specialist.