early signs of skin cancer
In many cases, skin cancer develops on areas of the face and body that are most exposed to the sun; therefore, it can be fairly easy to spot worrisome changes to a mole or growth. By turning to a dermatologist once a year for regular skin cancer screenings, and by performing your own comprehensive at-home exams, you can catch skin cancer early on when it’s highly treatable.
There are several kinds of skin cancer. Melanoma is one of the most common and the most dangerous. Of course, there are also common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Here are the warning signs for each,
Basal cell carcinoma
It’s common for basal cell carcinomas to develop on areas of the body most exposed to the sun such as the face and neck. A basal cell carcinoma may appear as,
- A waxy, white bump
- A scar-like growth that may be yellow, white or even brown in color
- A bump or growth that bleeds, crusts, oozes and doesn’t heal
Squamous cell carcinoma
Like basal cell carcinomas, this type of non-melanoma skin cancer is also most likely to develop on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the neck, back, face and ears. Warning signs of a squamous cell carcinoma include,
- Red patches or open sores
- Raised, wart-like bumps with a depression in the center
- A growth, sore or open wound that itches or bleeds
Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer that can develop anywhere on the body; however, it is most often found on the face. Those with fairer skin tones are more at risk for developing melanoma. Warning signs of melanoma include,
- A very large mole (larger than a pencil eraser)
- A mole that changes in shape, color or size
- A growth that has irregular or poorly defined borders
- A painful sore or bump that itches, crusts and bleeds
Any changes to a preexisting mole, or the development of new moles, may warrant a trip to the dermatologist’s office.
To schedule a life-changing appointment to look for skin cancer on your skin and to look at existing moles, call our Sun City, AZ, dermatology office today at (623) 875-2600.