Do I Have Skin Cancer? What to Look For

Unlike other types of cancers located deep within the body, skin cancer develops on the skin’s surface where it is easily visible. There are high chances of noticing and treating it early. Skin cancer is detailed as the abnormal growth of skin cells and mostly occurs on the segments exposed to the sun. However, this does not restrict other sections rarely exposed from the sun from contracting cancer of the skin. Skin cancer is categorized into three types: melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Reducing the exposure of your skin to ultraviolet radiation and having regular medical checkups can help in detecting skin cancer before it forms when it is more treatable.
Skin cancer affects people of all sorts of skin tones and complexions. The most vulnerable parts are the scalp, lips, neck, face, chest, hands and palms and even the legs. So what are the alarming signs of skin cancer?
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This type of skin cancer occurs in skin segments that are often exposed to the sun such as the scalp, neck, and face. It appears either as a waxy or pearly bump or a plain brown scarred lesion.
Melanoma
Melanoma can grow anywhere on your body including parts that are rarely exposed to the sun. In men, it often appears on the face as a spot while in women it develops on the lower segments of the body including the legs. It attacks any skin tone with darker skin tones getting affected on the soles, palms, or below the toenails or the fingernails.
Melanoma can appear in different ways:
• A freckle that changes in color, texture, size and may also bleed out.• A huge brownish spot with darker speckles.• The borders of the freckle are ragged and raised.• The freckle changes color from brown, black, red, white or even blue.• The diameter of the freckle is usually larger than 6 millimeters.
You may also notice dark lesions on your palms toes, soles or fingertips and also mucous membranes lining along your mouth, nose, vagina or anus margins.
Most of these signs are confusing and require the review and instructions of a doctor before concluding that the cancer is indeed present.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Often, the squamous cell carcinoma occurs on the segments mostly exposed to the sun. These parts include ears, hands, neck, lips, and face. People with darker complexions are likely to develop this type of cancer in body parts that aren’t usually exposed to the sunlight such as the legs and sole.
• The tumors caused this cancer take a variety of forms including;• Open lesions that break, bleed and don’t heal.• Scaly patches that are red in color that bleed.• A tumor that resembles a wart but bleeds.• The growth is often raised and tender and bleeds with the slightest pick.
Itchiness and Irritation
Luckily, skin cancer is often discovered in its early stages which make it possible to treat successfully. Mostly, it is managed by removing the lesions through surgery and creams. If cancer progresses to deeper sections of the body, the doctor will recommend more invasive treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy.
Contact Dermatology Center of the Rockies today to schedule your consultation! We are conveniently located in Longmont, CO.

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