Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer out there. It is important to be aware of the early signs and symptoms. Three out of every five cancers are first discovered by the patients themselves, so knowing your own body is key.

Where Skin Cancers Develop

Skin cancer tends to develop on parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun. This includes the scalp, arms, legs, hands, face, and shoulders. Even parts you may not think about, like the lips and the tips of your ears, are at risk. It can also occur on parts of the skin that are not normally exposed to sunlight. Examples are palms and underneath fingernails. People of all skin tones are at risk, even those who have darker complexions. Darker skin tones tend to develop skin cancer on parts of the body that are not normally exposed to sunlight. It is important to know your own body and to monitor your moles. There are three common kinds of cancer to watch for.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

This kind of cancer normally occurs on the parts of your body that are exposed to sunlight. The cancer can appear in two ways. It might have a waxy or pearly sheen to it, and there will be a bump in the affected area. It can also look like a flat, flesh or brown colored scar.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

In most people, this will develop on sun exposed parts of the body. People who have darker skin tones may find this kind of cancer on non-exposed parts. These carcinomas can look like firm and red bumps. They can also come in the form of a flat lesion with a crusty surface.

Melanoma Symptoms

Melanomas can manifest anywhere on the body. They can happen on normal skin or an existing mole can turn cancerous. In men, it is commonly found on the torso, head, or neck. Women are most likely to develop it on their lower legs. These symptoms can vary:

-A big brown spot with small dark freckles
-A mole that changes shape, color, or bleeds
-A small lesion with irregular edges
-Dark lesions on palms, finger tips, toes, mucus membranes in the mouth, nose, or anus

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