Cancer is a terrifying prospect to consider. Despite how frightening it may sound, skin cancer is rather straightforward to detect on your body. In fact, skin cancer is one of the easiest tumors to detect since it usually begins in an area that can be seen. You may readily notice the early signs of skin cancer if you know where to look and what to look for. If you have any concerns or queries, you can always schedule a skin exam with your dermatologist.
The Different Types of Skin Cancer and Their Signs and Symptoms
There are various varieties of skin cancer to watch out for, each with its own set of symptoms. However, with our ‘ABCDE’ method, which we’ll cover after the three most prevalent skin cancers, you can be assured that you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
Carcinoma of the Basal Cells
Basal Cell Carcinoma is among the most prevalent types of skin cancer and one of the easiest to treat. Because it grows on regions of the body that are constantly exposed to sunlight, such as the head, neck, and face, this is the case. The following are some of the most common indications of Basal Cell Carcinomas to look for:
- Areas that are flat and stiff, comparable to scars.
- Itchy reddish spots that are elevated and reddish in color.
- Small, pearly pimples with blue, brown, or black patches inside that seem pink or red.
- Pink growths with a lower center and elevated edges.
- Open sores that either heal and reappear or do not heal at all.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinomas, like Basal Cell Carcinomas, arise in body parts that are frequently exposed to sunlight. When they can appear anywhere, they are most commonly found on the face, neck, and head.
- Patches of rough, scaly skin that bleed or have a crust around them.
- A lump or an elevated growth with a lower center.
- Open sores that don’t heal or heal and come back (and may have weeping or crusty regions)
- Wart-like growths on the skin.
Melanoma (malignant melanoma)
When pigment-producing cells proliferate out of control and refuse to let older cells die, malignant melanoma develops. They can grow within an existing mole or appear on parts of the skin that are frequently exposed to sunlight.
- Changes in the color or appearance of moles throughout time.
- Skin growths that are pigmented or odd.
- Lesions that are painful and frequently burn or itch.
- Spots that are large, brown, and have darker spots inside them.
Factors that Could Raise Your Skin Cancer Risk
When it comes to skin cancer, there are numerous potential reasons, one of the most prominent being excessive sun exposure. Other risk factors, in addition to UV radiation, include the following:
- Skin that is light in color
- Currently Existing Moles
- Severe Sun’s History
- Immune System Deficiency
- Skin Cancer in Your Family and Personal History
Signs and Symptoms
The importance of routinely examining the skin for any new or unusual developments, as well as changes in the size, form, or color of a present lesion, is critical in detecting and treating skin cancers early. If you notice anything suspicious, you should consult your primary care physician or a dermatologist.
While many skin cancers develop in areas that are exposed to the sun, they can also develop in areas that are generally shielded from the sun. It is critical to investigate these areas. Aside from checking the legs, trunk, arms, face, and neck for signs of skin cancer, it’s also important to check the areas between the toes, beneath the nails, palms of the hands, and bottoms of the feet, privates, and even the eyes.
Look for some of the frequent indicators of melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, using the “ABCDE rule.”
Asymmetry – A mole or birthmark has two parts that don’t match. 3
Border – The edges are ragged, notched, or fuzzy, and they are uneven.
Color – The hue is not uniform throughout and may contain brown or
black hues, as well as patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
Diameter – Although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this, the spot is greater than 14 mm across – roughly the size of a pencil eraser.
Evolving – The size, shape, or color of the mole is changing.
Even if you are in good health, you can develop skin cancer.
The majority of people who discover a suspicious patch on their skin or a stripe beneath their nails are unconcerned. They are not in any discomfort. They do not appear to be ill. They simply detect the suspicious-looking spot as a difference. That area doesn’t have to itch, bleed, or hurt. Skin cancer, on the other hand, does.
If you notice a suspicious spot, consult a dermatologist.
It’s time to contact a dermatologist if you notice a lesion on your skin that could be skin cancer. Skin cancer is highly treatable if detected early. A dermatologist can often treat early skin cancer by removing the malignancy along with a small amount of healthy skin.
Skin cancer treatment becomes increasingly difficult as it progresses.
How to find a dermatologist
Seeing a dermatologist if you detect a suspicious spot can provide you peace of mind. Dermatologists are specialists in skincare and have more experience identifying skin cancer than any other type of physician.
This article was contributed by Winston Salem Dermatology.