Skin cancer is the growth of abnormal skin cells. Skin cancer is most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from either natural sunshine or tanning beds. These rays lead skin cells to multiply and form malignant tumors. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is also the easiest to cure if treated early.
Skin cancer typically develops on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun such as the face, lips, scalp, neck, arms, chest, ears and hands. It can also form on your palms, under your fingernails and your genital area. Each different type of skin cancer has its own symptoms and signs to look out for.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and tends to spread to other areas of the body. It most commonly presents itself with the following symptoms:
- Large brownish spot with darker speckles
- Small lesion with irregular border and portions that are red, white, blue or black
- A mole that changes color, size or bleeds
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. While it is common, it is unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. Things to look out for to identify Basal Cell Carcinoma include:
- Pearly white or waxy bump
- Flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer and is not likely to spread to other areas of the body. It may appear as:
- A frim-red nodule
- A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
When to Seek Medical Care for Skin Cancer
All people, especially those with fair skin coloring or who have had extensive sun exposure, should check their entire body periodically for suspicious moles and lesions. A dermatologist should check on any moles or lesions that are concerning to you. Be sure to see your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in the shape, size, texture, or color of pigmented areas. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatologist or oncologist will speak with you regarding symptoms and possible treatment options.
There are other types of less common types of skin cancers as well. If you feel as though these symptoms fit or you are worried about any discoloration or lesion of the skin, you should contact Alabama Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Visit our blog page for more information!