5 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 3 million people every year. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment and survival, so it is important to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of skin cancer.
Change in the appearance of a mole: One of the most common warning signs of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of a mole on your skin. Look for moles that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, uneven color, or are larger than a pencil eraser. If a mole starts to itch, bleed, or become painful, it is important to have it checked by a dermatologist as soon as possible.
New or unusual growths: Another sign of skin cancer is the appearance of new or unusual growths on your skin that may be raised or have a rough or scaly texture. These growths may also be itchy or painful and can be different in color from your surrounding skin.
Sores that don’t heal: If you have a sore that does not heal or keeps coming back, it could be a sign of skin cancer. Be especially cautious of sores that are located in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as your face, neck, or arms.
Reddish patches or bumps: Reddish patches or bumps on your skin can also be a warning sign of skin cancer. These patches may be scaly or have a raised texture and may be itchy or painful.
Changes in the texture of your skin: If you notice any changes in the texture of your skin, such as scaling or thickening, it is important to have it checked by a dermatologist. This could be a sign of a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
If you notice any of these warning signs or symptoms of skin cancer, it is important to have a dermatologist examine your skin as soon as possible. A dermatologist will be able to determine if a growth or sore is cancerous or not, and will provide you with the appropriate treatment options if necessary. It is also important to take preventive measures to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. This includes using sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wearing protective clothing when spending time in the sun, and avoiding tanning beds.
Being aware of the warning signs and symptoms of skin cancer is crucial for early detection and successful treatment. If you notice any changes in the appearance of moles or any new or unusual growths on your skin, it is important to have a dermatologist examine your skin as soon as possible. Taking preventive measures and scheduling regular skin checks with a dermatologist can also help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.