Skin Cancer

skin cancerSkin cancer is cancer that forms in the tissue of the skin and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are several types of skin cancers that can be diagnosed depending on the location of the cancer. Over the past 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Regular skin self-exams are recommended.

Symptoms and Types of Skin Cancer

skincancersymptomsThe most common symptom of skin cancer is a change to your skin. The symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Symptoms of skin cancer will vary depending on the type. Please consult your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms:

Basal cell carcinoma symptoms – the most common type of skin cancer

  • Reddish patch of dry skin that won’t heal
  • Raised pearl shaped lump on the surface of the skin
  • Pimple that doesn’t go away
  • Soars that will bleed, go away, then reappear
  • Flat or sunken growth

Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms – a common type of skin cancer that is caused from too much sun, exposure to radiation, or burns

  • Hard crusty red pearl shaped lump on the surface of the skin
  • Soar that will bleed, heal, then reappear
  • Scaly patch of skin on the lip that won’t heal

Melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer and often appears in an existing mole or looks like a new mole

  • Mole that is changing shape, color, or growing
  • Mole that bleeds or is scaly
  • Dark spot on the skin that looks like a mole
  • Itchy spot on the skin that won’t heal and bleeds
  • Brown or black streak under a nail bed
  • Bruise on the foot that does not go away

An easy way to remember the symptoms of melanoma is to remember the A,B,C,D and Es of skin cancer.

A – asymmetrical (is it shaped irregularly)
B – border (is the border jagged)
C – color (is the mole darker in some areas)
D – diameter (is it larger than the size of a pea)
E – evolving (has it changed in the last few weeks or months)

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