Skin cancer, one of the most common type of cancer, shows signs of an abnormal growth of skin cells, which usually develops on the skin exposed to the sunlight. However, this form of cancer can even occur in the parts of your skin not exposed to the sun. An individual can reduce the risk of skin cancer by avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most type of skin cancers develop where they can be easily noticed, there is a high possibility of detecting them in the initial stage. It is important to get regular tests of the skin if any new or abnormal growths develop, or if there are any changes in the existing moles. If you notice anything doubtful, you should talk to your health care expert or a dermatologist (skin doctor). Read ahead to know about the warning signs of skin cancer.
Symptoms of skin cancer
The symptoms of skin cancer are divided on the basis of their type. There are mainly three types of skin cancer, namely basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Here are the symptoms of skin cancer:
1. Unusual skin growth
An abnormal skin growth or sore that does not disappear might be an early warning sign of a non-melanoma skin cancer. Skin cancer may look like a node, rash or unusual spot on the surface of your skin. These patches can be bumpy and might bleed easily. The size, shape and noticeable skin mass can change as the cancer grows and goes into deeper layers of the skin.
2. Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is another type of skin cancer which mostly develops in sun-exposed areas of the skin, like your neck and face. Basal cell carcinoma can look like a pearly or waxy bump, a flat, flesh-colored or brown lesion, or a bleeding or scabbing scar that gets healed, but can come back.
3. Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas might also appear to be a bump on your skin. These firm bumps are mostly rough on the surface, very different from the smooth and pearly ones of a basal cell carcinoma. If a node does not develop, the cancer can turn into more of a reddish and scaly spot. While a skin rash goes away in some time, the rough and firm patches on your skin continue to develop gradually. This type of cancer is mostly common on the head, neck, hands or arms, but they can also occur in other parts, including genital area or in scars or skin sores.
Melanoma or Merkel cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on the body. It usually develops out of existing moles. Moreover, people with darker skin tone tends to witness this development on the palms or soles of the feet. Signs of melanoma include change in the appearance of a mole, and development of a large brown spot. They are often accompanied by irregular edges, dark lesions on the mucous membranes or the fingers and toes.
Contrary to the popular belief that most kin cancers develop in areas exposed to the sun, they may also develop in areas that are usually stay hidden from the sun. Therefore, it is important to examine all of these areas. Additionally, examining the legs, trunk, arms, face and neck, it is important to look for signs of skin cancer in the areas between the toes, underneath nails, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, genitals and also the eyes.