Signs of skin cancer

Did your parents lather on sunscreen on you when you were younger? And you probably did not like it and complained that your mother fusses about you too much. Well, you may thank your parents right about now because signs of skin cancer is typically developed on areas of your skin exposed most to the sun and that would be your face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, scalp and hands – and the legs for most women – mostly the areas your parents, mostly your mother – has lathered on the sunscreen on you.

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That said, however, it may also develops on the on the palms of your hand, spaces between your toes, under your toenails and fingernails and even on your genital area.

Skin cancer does not only affect light skin colored people – signs of skin cancer spares no color. It is believed that darker colored people are more susceptible to develop skin cancer because most dark skinned people do not care to use any sunscreen protection at all.

Melanoma is the most serious and most responsible for skin cancer deaths in people. It can develop anywhere on one’s body or it could be an old mole turned malignant. Melanoma is mostly seen on the head or neck or the trunk with men. On women, melanoma occurs on the arms and legs.

Basal cell carcinoma, signs of skin cancer, is a type of cancer that is most common. It is also the easiest treated and least likely to metastasize. Basal cell usually appears on the face, ears or neck and it looks like a scab that never seems to heal correctly.

Squamous cell carcinoma when detected early is also easy to treat as signs of skin cancer. This is mostly seen as a red nodule on the face – ears, neck, lips, hands and/or arms. Or it could look like a surface crust.
The Kaposi (occurs on the skin’s blood vessel and is a serious kind), Merkel (rare form and grows fast and spreads to other parts of the body) and Sebaceous gland (least common and aggressive – etimology is the oil glands of the skin) types of carcinoma are the least common form of skin cancers. Melanoma is the most common, life-threatening form. Keep in mind that melanoma may also form on skin not exposed to the sun.

Mostly, what would alert a patient to seek or consult with a physician is when they notice a sign of skin cancer such as a growth “that was not there before” on their face or arms – mostly the parts of the skin exposed to the sun or a “change” in the skin or perhaps a cut or a sore that no matter how much antibiotic topic cream you put on would not heal. What we are not aware of is that skin cancer could “pop-up” in places we think are not exposed to the sun, like our backs. If you have your partner check on your back, or rather, have them check your back and ask if they notice anything unusual. Better yet, go to the doctor and have your skin scanned for pre-cancerous cells and have it treated ASAP.

Other signs of skin cancer would be small scab looking, or red patches on the skin or patches that seem to spread. It is very hard to see signs of skin cancer and the best thing to do is to visit your dermatologist and to make it a part of one’s routine to see a dermatologist be it yearly – to be on the safe side.

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