“In the eternal quest to lose weight, this symptom may be viewed as a blessing rather than a potential warning sign,” says Peterson Pierre, MD, a dermatologist in Thousand Oaks, California. “But this can be a problem, especially if accompanied by loss of appetite or changes in bowel habits. A number of cancers can present this way, including cancers of the esophagus, liver, colon and pancreas, as well as leukemia or lymphoma.”
The Rx: “It’s important to report these changes to your doctor as soon as possible to maximize your quality of life, treatment options and survival,” says Pierre.
Any changes in a mole or freckle, or the appearance of new moles, could be a sign of skin cancer. “Performing self exams regularly and reporting changes to your board-certified dermatologist could lead to early detection and save your life,” says Pierre.
The Rx: “To help with self exams, remember the acronym ABCDE when you’re assessing changes,” says Pierre. “A stands for asymmetry; B is for border changes; C is for color changes; D is for diameter changes, increase in size; and E is for elevation, vertical growth or evolution, a growth that has changed over time.” If you observe any of those, schedule a doctor’s visit ASAP.
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