Skin Cancer Symptoms
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This form of skin cancer is the most common, accounting for up to 80% of all skin carcinomas. Oftentimes, it develops on areas of skin that get regular sun exposure, like the head and neck. However, it is one of the most curable forms of cancer, especially when it’s spotted early on. Basal cell carcinoma tumors start as tiny bumps that can be white, pink, or flesh-toned, and as the disease progresses, one or more of the following signs can develop:
- Easy bleeding from the tumor site
- Development of an open sore
- Swollen blood vessels in the skin
- Waxy, hard skin growth
If you notice the final symptom, seek medical attention immediately. This particular sign can indicate that your basal cell carcinoma is malignant, meaning that it can or may have already spread to neighboring structures.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
As the second most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma typically results from ultraviolet (UV) radiation delivered by the sun or tanning beds. It occurs on the scalp, hands, ears, and lips, but it can even occur inside the mouth, on the soles of the feet, and on the genitals. Symptoms of this disease can include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- A firm, inflamed nodule
- A scaly, crusty, flat sore
- New sore development on preexisting scar or ulcer
- A rough, scaly skin patch
- A red, raised patch or wart-like sore
If you have a scab or sore that doesn’t heal within two months or a stubborn patch of flat, scaly skin, visit your doctor right away. These instances could indicate the presence of squamous cell carcinoma, but it boasts up to a 98% cure rate when found early.
While it is the rarest form of skin cancer, melanoma is by far the most serious, with an estimated 7,230 annual deaths resulting from this disease. However, when discovered and treated in its early stages, it has a five-year survival rate of 92%.
Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body but is more likely to occur on sun-exposed areas of your skin. Though rarer, hidden melanomas can also occur, developing on the soles of the feet, palms, and fingernail beds. It can start as a change in an existing mole, as well as the development of a new mole or similar-looking growth. However, it can also occur on normal-looking skin. Some signs to be aware of demand immediate medical attention and include the following:
- Irregular border
- Color change
- Large diameter
- Evolving growth
Get Treated or Screened Today
Since skin cancer is the most common form of the disease, make sure you’re getting screened regularly to help stop it in its tracks. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, Dermatology Associates is standing by to correctly diagnose and treat your condition. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.