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What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It affects 1 in 5 Americans in their lifetime, with 9,500 new cases diagnosed every day.

Anyone can develop the condition, even if they don’t spend most of their life in the sun or have no family history of the condition. Go to the dermatologist the moment you begin to ask yourself, “Do I have skin cancer?”

Before you seek out a professional opinion, you need to know what to look for. Read on to learn the most common symptoms of skin cancer.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer develops when skin cells are exposed to UV radiation. These rays from the sun may cause them to regrow abnormally. The damage usually first appears as red skin or unusual bumps or moles.

The parts of the body that are most prone to skin cancer are those that are most often exposed to the sun. This includes the face, shoulders, arms, and hands. What makes it so dangerous is that it can show up anywhere, even if you cover up.

Risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing skin cancer include:

  • Frequent sunburns
  • Fair skin and blonde or red hair
  • Excessive tanning or sun exposure
  • A weak immune system
  • A family history of skin cancer

The best defense is to know the symptoms of skin cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

The early signs of skin cancer to look out for depend on which type you’ve developed.

Basal cell carcinoma or BCC is the most common type and the easiest to treat. Symptoms include open sores that bleed or ooze. You may also develop red, itchy skin or glossy, colored bumps or cysts with an indentation in the middle.

Squamous cell carcinoma is also easy to treat but can become more serious if it isn’t identified early.

Hard, red, firm blisters are one of the most common signs of this form of skin cancer. You may also notice red, wrinkled, or chafed skin that resembles a sunburn. Other potential symptoms include open sores or sores in abnormal locations.

Melanoma affects over 1 million Americans. It’s the most serious type of skin cancer because it spreads the fastest. Almost half of all cases are self-detected, which makes it essential to know the skin cancer symptoms to look out for.

Melanoma appears as unusual bumps or moles. There are specific factors used to determine if these are signs of skin cancer or not. Most dermatologists use the ABCDE method which stands for asymmetrical, border, color, diameter, and evolving.

Check if both sides of the mole or bump look the same. Determine if its border looks undefined and blurry. See if it has different shades and colors. Attempt to measure it to see if it’s bigger than 6mm or the size of a pencil eraser. Keep an eye on it to see if it changes in size or shape or if it grows hair.

Where to Get Skin Cancer Treatment

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms because of frequent UV exposure in our daily lives. It can happen to anyone on any part of the body.

The symptoms of skin cancer depend on which type you’re experiencing. You may have a non-melanoma form such as BCC or squamous cell carcinoma. If you think you have the more serious form known as melanoma, it’s time to seriously examine your skin.

The Dermatology Group is the place to go when you begin to experience symptoms. Contact us today for skin cancer treatment.

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