Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer. If left without guidance it can become very harmful. Stay with us to discover the warning signs of skin cancer.
Cancer of the skin is one of the most common cancers. Non-melanoma skin cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the upper layer of the skin. Non-melanoma separates the more common types of skin cancer from the rarer cancer of the skin types such as melanoma, which is a much more serious condition. (1) Ther are many cases of non-melanoma diagnosed each year. Statistically, women are less likely to develop non-melanoma cancer. And it is more common in the elderly.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Symptoms
The first obvious sign that non-melanoma skin cancer is developing is the appearance of a lump or discolored patch on the skin which persists even after a few weeks. If it continues growing for more than a month, or sometimes years, this is cancer or tumor.
Cancerous lumps are red and solid. Sometimes, they turn into ulcers. On the other hand, cancerous patches are most commonly flat and scaly. Non-melanoma skin cancer often develops of skin which is often exposed to the sun. For instance, shoulders, ears, hands, upper chest, back, and face.
Skin Cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma often induce skin changes. Growths that are not cancerous can develop into skin cancer over time. 40 to 50 percent of fair-skinned people that live up to 65 will develop skin cancer at least once. Learn to spot the early warning signs of skin cancer. It is curable if it is found early.
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
Actinic cheilitis relates to keratosis. This is a precancerous condition that usually appears on the lips. Some people refer to it as “Farmer’s Lip”. When actinic cheilitis is present scaly patches or roughness that doesn’t go away occur on the lips. Less common symptoms of actinic cheilitis are prominent lip lines, loss of the sharp border between the lips and the skin, and lip swelling.
These scaly patches are caused simply by too much sun. They can be found on the most common places that are exposed to the sun. But, they can appear anywhere. Actinic keratosis is the first warning signs of skin cancer, however, it is hard to tell whether it will continue to change and become cancerous or not.
The cutaneous horns appear as a growth that extends from a red spot on the skin. Keratin– the same protein found in nails, is the composition of the cutaneous horns. The size and shape can vary. But, it usually grows a few millimeters in length.
A mole is a benign growth of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that give the skin its color. Although moles very rarely become cancer, abnormal moles can develop into melanoma over time. Moles that develop into skin cancer often have an irregular shape. They contain many colors and are visibly larger than normal moles.
Atypical moles are not cancer of the skin. However, they can become one. They can occur in both sun-exposed or protected areas in the body. Atypical moles can be larger and are more irregularly shaped, with rough or fading borders. Most commonly they are a mixture of colors. Pink, red, brown, and tan.
If you have experience with any type of skin conditions such as skin cancer, or you are interested in knowing more about the skin, in general, you have probably heard about ABCDEs before. ABCDEs are important characteristics which you need to consider when you are examining your skin growths for conditions and cancer.
A Is For Asymmetry
This is if one side of the mole doesn’t match the other. Normal moles are identical, or symmetrical. When you examine your moles, imagine a line through the middle and compare the two assumed halves. If they are not similar, visit your dermatologist.
B Is For Border
If the border of the mole is ragged, irregular, or blurred, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Melanoma often has uneven borders.
C Is For Color
If a mole consists of several colors, or it has shades of tan, brown, white, red, or black is suspicious. Normal moles ordinarily have a single shade of color. To conclude, a mole with many colors or it has lighter or darker color than usual, should be checked.
D is For Diameter
A suspicious mole has a diameter larger than 6 mm. Some may refer to this as larger than the eraser of a pencil
E Is For Evolving
A potentially harmful mole can be one that is evolving. This means, any mole that is shrinking, growing larger, suddenly begins to itch, bleed, or change color should be brought to attention. If there is a portion of the mole, that appears elevated or raised from the skin, it can be dangerous. Melanoma lesions often enlarge and increase height rapidly.
Who is more prone to developing skin cancer?
Sun is the biggest cause of skin cancer. However, it doesn’t explain skin cancer that occurs on skin that hasn’t seen sunlight. Radiation treatment, environmental hazards exposure can also lead to skin cancer. Heredity may also play a role sometimes. Although everyone can develop skin cancer there are some risk factors which include:
- Light-Colored Eyes
- Radiation treatments past
- History of excessive sun exposure
- Fair Skin
- An excess amount of large and unevenly-shaped moles
- You lived at high altitudes