If someone close to you, such as a friend or family member, has suffered from skin cancer at some point during their lives or you've discovered that you're at risk of having this disease yourself, then you may want to learn about the common signs of skin cancer. Understanding the difference between normal changes in your skin and those that can be problematic, such as moles and other blemishes, can be the most important step in detecting an issue early on and receiving the appropriate treatment as early as possible.
The first thing to know when you're looking for common signs of skin cancer is that these conditions, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, can begin as very basic changes to your skin. These changes might appear as lesions or strange growths that you had never noticed before. Importantly, research suggests that approximately forty to fifty percent of people with fair skin who live to be 65 will develop at least one kind of skin cancer.
Recognizing What Is Normal:
Being able to spot the common signs of skin cancer is essential, as this condition can be cured if it is found and dealt with as early as possible. Knowing your body inside and out is a good place to start, as when you know what is normal for you, you'll have a better chance of pinpointing the things that are new, different, or strange. Paying attention to every spot, lesion, or mole on your body might seem like a lot of hard work but doing so will give you a control to compare your symptoms to if you believe that something on your skin has started to change.
Once you have a point of comparison, you should know that skin cancers generally appear in one of the following common ways:
– As areas where the skin has begun to break down, such as an ulcer that doesn't heal within a month.
– A sore or spot that hurts, itches, scabs over or becomes crusty and causes problems for more than a month
– A sore or spot that simply will not heal over the course of four weeks or more.
Different Types of Skin Cancer:
Depending on the type of skin cancer, the signs that you experience may differ. For example, basal cell skin cancer often looks like slow-growing, pink, small, or shiny lumps. They can also appear is scaly red patches. If they are left untreated, this kind of skin cancer can bleed and become crusted over before developing into an ulcer on the scalp, hands, ears, face, or back. Alternatively, squamous cell cancer usually appears as pink lumps. These can seem to be scaly or hard on the surface, and they usually feel tender to the touch although this isn't always the case. These cancers appear most commonly on the lips, hands, face, ears, arms, shoulders, and legs.
Finally, melanoma skin cancer usually appears as a new growth, spot, or a change to an existing mole. Remember, a normal mole will arrive and remain exactly the same – typical moles do not change or evolve.