Uncontrolled exposure to the sun is a major cause of the development of skin cancer. So now that summer begins also begin awareness campaigns to prevent melanoma. Know the early signs of skin cancer are crucial for rapid diagnosis.
What are the early signs of skin cancer?
Before you begin, it is important to note that there are two types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is the best known form, being more aggressive, but it really is the rarest type. The most common are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
Early symptoms of skin cancer: non-melanoma
The most common forms of skin cancer are usually painless and grow slowly. Although it may appear anywhere on the body, they are more likely to appear on exposed skin, especially in the skin of the face or neck.
These types of cancers usually appear as a lump or discolored patch of skin that will not heal with time.
Signs of basal cell carcinoma may resemble a small red or pink lump, but can also appear as a lump of pearl white or waxy, or may also appear as a red or scaly skin blemish. The bulk either pink or white, grows slowly and may become crusty or bleeding, or become a painless ulcer.
Signs of squamous cell carcinoma are the development of a lump pink solid. This protrusion may have a flat surface crusted or scaly, often bleeds easily and feels more sensitive to touch. You can also become a painless ulcer.
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Early symptoms of skin cancer: melanoma
Experts say the first sign of melanoma is often a new mole, or change in the appearance of an existing mole.
Moles are usually round or oval shape, with a smooth and no larger than 6 mm in diameter edge. Signs that a malignant mole may be changes in size, shape or color, bleeding, pain or itching at the moon.
To differentiate a melanoma of a normal mole has to look at these signs:
- Melanomas are asymmetrical and irregular in shape.
- Melanomas have a notched edge or uneven.
- Melanomas have a mixture of two or more colors.
- Melanomas are larger than 6 mm in diameter.
- A mole that changes in size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.