Getting a skin cancer diagnosis can be surprising and may be life-changing. Skin cancer sometimes is sneaky and easy to miss. It could be similar in color to your skin, and they’re slow-growing many times. So what are the types of skin cancer? What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer? Keep reading to find out.
Types of Skin Cancer
Skin cancers are cancers that arise from the skin. They are due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. There are three main types of skin cancers: basal-cell skin cancer, squamous-cell skin cancer and melanoma. The first two, along with a number of less common skin cancers, are known as nonmelanoma skin cancer. Basal-cell cancer grows slowly and can damage the tissue around it but is unlikely to spread to distant areas or result in death. It often appears as a painless raised area of skin sometimes with an ulcer. Squamous-cell skin cancer is more likely to spread. It usually presents as a hard lump with a scaly top but may also form an ulcer. Melanomas are the most aggressive. Signs include a mole that has changed in size, shape, color, has irregular edges, has more than one color, is itchy or bleeds.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms:
Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your neck or face. It may appears as a shiny pink, red, pearly, or translucent bump. It gives rise to pink skin growths or lesions with raised borders that are crusted in the center. It leads to raised reddish patch of skin that may crust or itch, but is usually not painful. It may also appears as a white, yellow, or waxy area with a poorly defined border that may resemble a scar.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms:
Squamous cell carcinoma often occurs on sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your face, ears and hands. People with dark skin are more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma on areas that aren’t often exposed to the sun. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as persistent, scaly red patches with irregular borders that may bleed easily. Sometimes it arouses open sore that does not go away for weeks. Or it has a raised growth with a rough surface that is indented in the middle.
Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, in otherwise normal skin or in an existing mole that becomes cancerous. In women, they most commonly occur on the legs, while in men they are most common on the chest and back. Most melanoma consist of various colors from shades of brown to black. A small number of melanoma are pink, red or fleshy in colour; these are called amelanotic melanoma and tend to be more aggressive. Warning signs of malignant melanoma include change in the size, shape, color or elevation of a mole. Other signs are the appearance of a new mole during adulthood or pain, itching, ulceration, redness around the site, or bleeding at the site.