Skin Cancer Symptoms – How Do You Know If You Are Affected?
Sun exposure has been linked for several years with skin cancer. More people are diagnosed with this cancer than with any other. Therefore, it is important to learn about skin cancer symptoms in order to protect yourself and the ones you love.
Skin cancer often appears as a growth on the surface of the skin. Moles or marks that have been present since birth are rarely cancerous. Changes in the appearance of these moles or marks, however, can be a sign of malignancy, and should be evaluated by a physician.
Sometimes skin cancer looks like a sore or pimple that does not heal. These areas may bleed, or seep clear fluid. They may develop scabs, appearing as though they are beginning to heal, but then begin to bleed or seep again.
Different skin cancers develop in different areas of the body. Basal cell carcinomas usually appear on skin surfaces frequently exposed to sun, like the face, neck, or upper back, and occasionally the hands or arms. They often seep yellowish fluid, scab over, and begin again to ooze. When the skin is pulled taut, basal cell cancers are often light grey in color. Sometimes tiny blood vessels can be seen inside the tumors.
In comparison, squamous cell carcinomas are more likely than basal cell cancers to appear on the backs of the arms or hands, but are found most frequently on the face, neck, or upper back. These appear as painful reddish, scaly growths. These also seep or bleed, scab over, and drain again.
Malignant melanoma, the most dangerous type, usually appears on the trunk or legs. These may appear as changes in moles or freckles, or may begin to grow spontaneously from a part of the skin that appears completely normal. These are often multi-colored, and can be brown, black, white, red, or blue.
Rarely, people may develop other types of skin cancers. Kaposi’s sarcoma is found in people with weakened immune systems, such as persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or those who have had organ transplants. These are painful purple spots that appear on the skin and can spread to the lungs or digestive organs.
People with a high risk for skin cancer, such as those frequently exposed to sunlight or individuals with a family member who has had cancer should consider examining their skin often. Skin cancer is usually very curable if it is found and treated early. Being aware of skin cancer symptoms and examining your skin often will allow you to get medical treatment early, and may save your life.