6 Skin Cancer Symptoms You Should Not Ignore
Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer. According to statistics from the MSD Manual, more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year. As a result, scientists continue to harp on the importance of taking good care of your skin and of living a healthy lifestyle. It is important not to ignore skin cancer symptoms.
It often affects adults over 50, although younger people are at risk of developing it, too. Really everyone should be held accountable for
Skin cancer relates to continuous exposure to radiation emitted by the sun’s rays, but it can also be caused by DNA mutations in the epithelial cells.
Despite being one of the most common cancers, its mortality rate has declined significantly. Treatments have evolved and advanced, and you can more easily obtain a timely diagnosis. Pay attention to skin cancer symptoms to make sure you catch it early.
Most cases of skin cancer are of the non-melanoma variety. These can be controlled more effectively because it doesn’t change the cellular base.
However, it’s essential to recognize any possible skin cancer symptoms as soon as possible. The key to avoiding a more aggressive form of skin cancer is early detection.
Six possible skin cancer symptoms
So, we’ll take a closer look at these symptoms that should not be overlooked.
1. Appearance of moles
The appearance of new moles, especially those with irregular shapes, is one of the main symptoms of skin cancer.
These usually appear suddenly with noticeable changes related to their size, color and texture.
While some may appear as reddish spots, others have a bulky texture and a dark color.
Learn more about moles: Some Facts About Moles
2. Changes in existing moles
Changes in existing moles should not be ignored under any circumstances. As previously mentioned, pay attention to any changes that may develop over time.
Experts have developed the “alphabet rule” or “ABCDE”, referring to important characteristics that must be taken into account.
- A for asymmetry: Referring to moles where one half doesn’t match the other half.
- B for border: The edges of the moles appear irregular, deformed or poorly defined.
- C for color: The moles present noticeable changes in color. They can become darker, multicolored or discolored. You may also notice different shades such as blue, red, pink or gray.
- D for diameter: Melanomas can be up to 6 millimeters wide. They can sometimes appear much smaller.
- E for elevation: The surface of the mole is bulging or irregular.
3. Wounds that don’t heal can be a skin cancer symptom
The opposite occurs when skin cells become malignant. Their healing ability diminishes and even the smallest of wounds become difficult to fully heal.
If you notice open wounds or sores that don’t heal after some time, it could be a symptom of skin cancer.
4. Spots that spread
The appearance of spots on the skin can be due to multiple external and internal factors. However, the way that they develop could indicate if they are related to this type of cancer.
For example, if spots begin to spread from the mole to the surrounding skin, it is important to have it checked. It may be due to changes in the health of your cells.
5. Redness and swelling
Malignant cells trigger an inflammatory reaction that can become noticeable both in the moles and in the surrounding area. This is another skin cancer symptom you shouldn’t ignore.
This usually occurs beyond the mole’s border and is accompanied by redness and symptoms similar to those of common skin irritations. However, unlike regular rashes and skin irritation that goes away after a few days, cancer-related inflammation will get worse over time.
6. Sensitivity and pain
Other conditions can also cause changes in sensitivity, but they could be a symptom of skin cancer.
A doctor should evaluate signs of abnormal cell development like recurrent itching, pain to the touch and irritation.
If you notice any of the above signs, consult your doctor immediately to determine if they are related to this disease.
Read more about skin cancer symptoms: Skin Cancer Warning Signs and What to Do About Them
Just as it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle to prevent illness and enjoy a good quality of life, it’s also important to e familiar with the signs of cancer. You never know when you might notice an unsettling change on your skin.
To reiterate, if you have any issues or changes to your skin or any other part of the body, the best option is always to talk to your doctor.
Aside from that, live a healthy lifestyle, take care of yourself, and remember that prevention is the best medicine.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Craythorne, E., & Al-Niami, F. (2017). Skin cancer. Medicine (United Kingdom). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2017.04.003
- Brandt, M. G., & Moore, C. C. (2019). Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2018.08.001
- Böni, R., Schuster, C., Nehrhoff, B., & Burg, G. (2002). Epidemiology of skin cancer. Neuroendocrinology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1996.tb00312.x
- Jackson, B. A. (2010). Skin cancer in skin of color. In Skin Cancer Management: A Practical Approach. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-88495-0_16