What Are the Most Common Skin Cancer Symptoms?

It's important to protect your skin and look for signs of skin cancer. Here are the most common early symptoms of skin cancer you should know.

Most people have no idea how common skin cancer is. In the United States, more than 20% of people develop skin cancer by the age of 70. When you account for the people who develop skin cancer after the age of 70, the prevalence of skin cancer is even higher. 

There are many different signs of skin cancer that people can learn to recognize. This is especially valuable because detecting the early symptoms of skin cancer can make it easier to fight off, as we will discuss below.

This is also valuable because it can help put people's minds at rest. Some people worry about things that they imagine might be signs of skin cancer when they are in fact harmless.

So how can you know what is a sign of skin cancer and what is not? Read on to learn all about some of the most common symptoms of potential skin cancer!

The Importance of Early Detection of Skin Cancer

Some people suppose that there is no need for them to learn about how to recognize signs of skin cancer. After all, as long as they have regular doctor visits, shouldn't the doctor be able to take care of detecting early symptoms of skin cancer for them?

Although there is some truth to this, it is still valuable to learn to detect early signs of skin cancer for yourself. That way, you may be able to detect potential skin cancer even earlier than your doctor might. But what is so valuable about being able to catch skin cancer earlier on?

One important thing to understand about cancer is that it always starts small. If you can catch it while it is still small, there is a much higher chance that you can remove it from the body without further complications.

However, cancer also tends to grow over time. The longer it takes to detect skin cancer, the lower the chance that treatment will go smoothly.

General Skin Cancer Symptoms

Although it is important to be able to recognize early symptoms of skin cancer, it is also important to understand that no single symptom is proof all by itself that anyone has skin cancer.

You do not want to worry yourself over anything simply because you have one of the symptoms we will discuss. However, if you do recognize symptoms of skin cancer on yourself or someone else, it is important to visit a doctor for further analysis.

So what are some of the most common signs of skin cancer? Skin cancer sometimes manifests as a new spot that appears on the skin for the first time. However, it can also manifest as an old spot that changes in size, shape, or color.

An itchy or painful spot on the skin can also be an early sign of cancer. Sometimes people develop sores that never seem to heal. They may also bleed or develop across.

Other times, people will develop red or skin-colored shiny bumps or scaly spots on their skin. All of these can be potential signs of skin cancer.

You should also look out for growths that look like warts or scars, especially if they do not have clear borders.

Again, many people will show one or more of these symptoms at one point or another without ever developing skin cancer. However, the more clearly someone displays these symptoms, the more important it is for them to see a doctor who can do their own assessment.

Different Types of Skin Cancer

Although these are general signs of skin cancer, there are also a few different types of skin cancer that each come with their own specific early symptoms. We will discuss three of the most common types of skin cancer below.

Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma

People tend to develop basal cell carcinoma skin cancer on areas of the body that get a lot of sun. One early sign of this kind of skin cancer is a pearly bump that develops on the skin. A sore that doesn't heal or that heals and then starts to bleed again can be another sign of basal cell carcinoma.

Signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma can develop both in areas with high sun exposure and sometimes in other areas as well. People with darker skin have a higher chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma in areas that do not receive a lot of sun. Hard, red nodules as well as scaly lesions can be signs of squamous cell carcinoma.

Signs of Melanoma

Melanoma can manifest as skin cancer on the face or anywhere else on the body. In many cases, it manifests when an old mole on the body begins to change in appearance. If someone develops a large brown spot on the body, that can also be a sign of melanoma.

Recognize the Early Symptoms of Skin Cancer

If you have ever wondered why doctors place so much emphasis on detecting the early symptoms of skin cancer, we hope that this article has clarified things for you. Although skin cancer is an umbrella term for many different conditions, early detection always has a huge positive impact on your treatment outcomes. It is worthwhile for everyone to learn how to detect some early signs of skin cancer.

To learn more about what you can do to help prevent or manage skin cancer, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!