Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer – Signs and Symptoms

Skin cancer is the irregular growth of skin cells that most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur in areas of skin not exposed to sunlight. Skin cancer can be reduced by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Early sign and symptoms of skin cancer can give chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

Signs and symptoms of skin cancer are:

Actinic keratosis (solar keratosis):

These are small, scaly patches which are caused by too much sun exposure and usually occur on the head, neck or hands. These can be an early sign and symptom of skin cancer, but it’s hard to tell whether a particular patch will continue to change with time and become cancerous.

Actinic Cheilitis (farmer’s lip)

Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition that usually occurs on the lower lip. Swelling of the lip, loss of the sharp border between the lip and skin and prominent lip lines are less common symptoms of skin cancer.

Mole

A mole is a growth of melanocytes, cells that give skin colour to the skin. Although very few moles become cancer, abnormal moles can develop into melanoma over time and give rise to cancer. Moles that change into skin cancer is usually irregular shaped, contains many colours and are larger in size.

Dysplastic nevi

Atypical moles are not usually cancer but with time can become cancer. These are found in sun-exposed or sun-protected areas of the body. These moles are larger and more irregular in shape.

Asymmetry

Asymmetry means when one half of the mole doesn’t resemble the other half. Normal moles are usually symmetrical.

Border

If the border or edges of the mole are ragged or irregular then have it checked by a dermatologist. Melanoma lesions often have uneven borders.

Colour

A mole that changes its colour throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black and red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually of a single shade of colour.

Diameter

A mole is doubtful if the diameter is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
These are the most common symptoms of skin cancer. If you experience any of these symptoms then you should consult a dermatologist.