Skin cancer symptoms and diagnosis

What are the symptoms of skin cancer? Skin cancer first appears as a growth, or abnormal accumulation of cells. It sometimes takes the form of a sore or pimple that does not heal. The sore may bleed or ooze fluid, crust or scab over, and then ooze or bleed again. Cancer can occur on almost area of the skin, but is most common on areas often exposed to the sun. Skin cancer usually is painless.

Symptoms Of Skin Cancer

The most common symptoms are:

1. A new growth on the skin.

2. A change in an existing skin growth.

3. A sore that does not heal.

Not all changes in the skin are symptoms of skin cancer. Most moles and other growths are harmless and do not need to be removed. Moles that are unattractive, or in areas where they are constantly irritated by clothing, can be removed by a doctor.

The average person has dozens of moles and other skin growths that are benign or noncancerous. They include:

Birthmarks, or “congenital nevi,” are moles that are present at birth.

Acquired moles begin to develop early in adolescence, growing and darkening throughout the teenage years. Many adults have 40-60 acquired moles.

Liver spots, or “solar lentigines,” are flat tan-to-brown spots that occur mainly on the face, neck, hands, and forearms. They have nothing to do with the liver. Rather, they develop as a result of aging and sun exposure.

Seborrheic keratoses are raised, wart-like, tan-to-brown growths that occur as people age.

Acquired cherry angiomas are smooth, dome-shaped red spots that usually develop on the chest and back. Most are bright red, and appear as people age.

Skin tags are small, soft flaps of skin that grow on the neck, in the armpits, and groin area are caused by repeated friction.

Actinic keratoses are slightly scaly, reddish patches that form on people with sun-damaged skin. They are precancerousgrowths that may changes into a squamous cell carcinoma. That’s why doctors recommend removal of actinic keratoses.
How Can You Tell If A Mole Is Cancerous?

Although most skin growths are not cancer, it’s important to check with the doctor about new growths or changes in old growths. When growths become cancerous, they may change in size or color, or become sores that do not heal.

Doing a regular skin self-examination is a good way to monitor the skin for early symptoms of skin cancer. Skin self examination is especially important for people who have had skin cancer. It can detect new cancers, and recurrences of past cancer, at an early and most curable stage.

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