Skin cancer develops when cells grow abnormally and is primarily seen on areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure. However, it is possible for this form of cancer to be seen elsewhere. The three most commonly known types are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. There are a number of ways to lower your skin cancer risk such as limiting sun exposure, wearing sunscreen and monitoring your skin for any changes that may appear suspicious. Early detection is critical to successful treatment. It is beneficial to know how to recognize some of the most common skin cancer symptoms.
Symptoms of Melanoma
Melanoma can develop on normal skin or appear on a mole that had previously been non-cancerous. It appears in various locations of the body, with a tendency to show up on the legs of women and the trunk area or face of men. Though it is common across skin tones, those with darker skin often see melanoma beneath the finger or toe nails and on the soles or palms.
Signs of melanoma may include:
- A mole that changes in shape or bleeds
- A spot that is brownish and has dark speckles
- Dark lesions on finger or toe nails, soles, palms or inside the mouth, vagina, anus or nose
- A small, irregular-bordered lesion with white, black or bluish-black segments
Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Areas exposed to the sun are the general location of squamous cell carcinoma. The face, hands and ears are typical examples. However, when it comes to people with darker skin tone, the areas affected tend to be places that aren’t exposed to the sun. There are usually two ways in which this kind of skin cancer presents. They are:
- A red nodule with a firm texture
- A crusty or scaly flat lesion
Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is another form of skin cancer that is regularly seen on areas of the body that receive exposure to the sun such as the neck or face. As with squamous cell carcinoma, there are two typical appearances of this cancerous lesion. You should look for:
- A flesh-colored or brown, scar-like lesion that is flat
- A bump that appears waxy or pearly in texture
Learn More About Skin Cancer Symptoms
Should you see any of these skin cancer symptoms or other changes to your skin that seem out of place, schedule an appointment at RidgeView Dermatology in Lynchburg, Smith Mountain Lake or Forest. While it is possible that your particular issue may be nothing at all or a benign lesion of some sort, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to skin cancer. Early detection can save your life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.