How do I Know if I have Skin Cancer?

By far, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer that develops on the skin exposed to the sun. It becomes very easy to tackle skin cancer if you get to know about it earlier and it’s small and has not spread much. 

From your scalp to your feet, you can get it anywhere on your body. Even if the area of your body is getting a small amount of sunlight there is a chance to get it. 

By checking for suspicious changes in your skin, you will be able to detect skin cancer at an early stage. There are majorly three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. 

It would really help you if you check your skin changes on a regular basis. Checking monthly can be beneficial. If you have it, visit a skin cancer doctor, they can help you get rid of your skin cancer.

Get early signals of Skin cancer 

Skin cancer can get into your skin in many different ways that are why it is important to know how it looks like:

  • Scaly-patch on your skin 
  • Changing mole to mole that looks different from other spots
  • Dome-shaped growth 
  • Back or brown mark under your nail 
  • Not healing sore or sore that heals and return

Symptoms of Skin cancer 

Cancers of the skin most commonly occur in the following forms:

  • Where skin cancer develops 

Skin cancer basically develops in the sun-exposed areas of your body that include the scalp, face, lips, hands, chest, and legs of women. But it can be found in those areas of your body too which receive less amount of sun or no sun like your palms, beneath your fingernails or toenails even your genital areas. 

People of all skin types including those with darker complections can get affected by skin cancer. When it comes to the most common type of skin cancer i.e. melanoma, it is found in people with darker skin complections. It is normally found in areas that are not exposed due to sunlight such as the palms, chest, or sole of the feet.

  • Basal cell carcinoma signs and symptoms

This is the most common form that occurs in the sun-exposed areas of your body such as your face, hands, and neck. You can find it when you get spots on your body parts that are black or brown in color. 

Basal cell carcinoma looks like this:

  1. A flat, flesh-colored, or brown scar-like lesion. 
  2. A pearly or waxy bump. 
  3. Bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and returns again.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma signs and symptoms

This type occurs in sun-spotted areas of your body such as your face, ears, and hands. People with darker skin tones are more often to develop squamous cell carcinoma in areas with less amount of sunlight.

Squamous cell carcinoma looks like this:

  1. Rough or scaly red scars, which might crust or bleed. 
  2. Lumps or growths that may have a lower center area. 
  3. Wart-like growths. 
  4. Open pores ( they may have oozing or crusted areas) and which don’t heal, or heal and then comes back.
  • Melanoma signs and symptoms 

Malignant melanomas can develop anywhere on your body, at any age, and in otherwise normal skin or in a mole that becomes cancerous. This type of cancer is seen in different parts of the body of men and women. When we talk about men it can be seen on the face or the trunk of affected men and in women, it is seen on the lower legs. In both men and women, this type of cancer usually occurs on the skin that hasn’t been exposed to the sun. 

Whether people with dark completions or fair skin, melanoma can affect people with every skin type. It is likely to occur on the palms or soles of the feet or under the fingernails or toenails. 

Melanoma signs include:

  1. A big brown spot with darker speckles.
  2. A mole that changes with color, size, or feet or that bleeds. 
  3. A painful lesion that itches or burns.
  4. A small lesion with irregular portions or borders that appear red, white, blue, pink, and blue-black.
  5. Dark big lesions on your palms, fingertips, toes, nose, mouth even vagina or anus.

Some uncommon symptoms of skin cancer include

  • Market cell carcinoma:

This type of cancer is most commonly found in the head, neck, and trunk. Market cell carcinoma causes firm, shiny nodules that occur on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles. 

  • Sebaceous gland carcinoma:

This uncommon type generates in the oil glands of the human body. This cancer type is really hard, painless nodules. It is mostly seen in eyelids where they are frequently mistaken for other eyelid problems. 

  • Kaposi sarcoma:

This is a rare form of skin cancer that is found in the skin’s blood vessels and causes red or purple patches on the skin. 

This type is seen in people whose immune system is weak such as people suffering from AIDS.

Other people with an increased risk of Kaposi sarcoma include the young generation living in Africa or older men of Italian or Eastern European Jewish heritage. 

You can feel well and still have a skin cancer

It is very difficult to notice spots on your body but not every spot on your skin is normal. Some of the spots can be a symptom of skin cancer. You will not feel any pain. The only difference you can see is the suspicious-looking spot. That spot doesn’t have to bleed, itch or feel painful. 

Why see a doctor for Skin Cancer:

It is important to take a doctor’s consultation if you find a suspicious spot on your body part. Not every spot or patch on your skin is a symptom of skin cancer but consulting a doctor will give you peace of mind. Your doctor will help you and investigate your skin changes to determine a cause. If you are not able to consult a skin specialist then there are a lot of doctor consulting apps where you may take online consultancy from the world’s skin experts to solve all your skin problems. 

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