Skin cancer is the abnormal and harmful growth of irregular skin cells. The chief cause of this common kind of cancer is overexposure to the sun, but it can also occur on areas of your body that don’t get much sunlight. Due to this common misconception about skin cancer, many people don’t even consider skin cancer to be a cause of odd moles or bumps on their body.
It’s important to understand the signs of skin cancer and the signs of an abnormal and potentially cancerous growth.
There are three major types of skin cancer, and they are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The symptoms of each are different, so it’s important to divide the symptoms by type.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your neck or face.
Basal cell carcinoma can look like:
- A pearly or waxy bump
- A flat, fleshy-colored, or brown scar-like lesion
- A bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and returns
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma most often shows up on sun-exposed body parts, like your face, hands, and ears. It occurs on the places that have the most sun exposure.
Squamous cell carcinoma may look like:
- A firm, red nodule
- A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, and it can develop from moles that were not initially cancerous.
For men, melanoma usually appears on the face or torso, and it normally develops on the legs for women.
Melanoma signs include:
- A large brownish spot with darker speckles
- A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds
- A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, white, blue or blue-black
- A painful lesion that itches or burns
- Dark lesions
It’s easier to prevent skin cancer by wearing sunscreen and limiting sun exposure rather than treating it and trying to heal the scars that remain. Facial reconstruction surgery is often needed after the removal of skin cancer. If you are in need of a MOHs plastic surgeon, contact Dr. Aynehchi of Westside Face.