Common Signs of Skin Cancer
posted: Sep 07, 2018.
When was the last time you checked your skin for suspicious growths?
Self-skin exams are very important and something that everyone should do regularly. After all, how will you ever know that there is a problem lurking in your skin unless you are aware of how your skin looks and feels? From the office of our Tulsa, OK, dermatologist Dr. Lynn Anderson, here are the warning signs of skin cancer.
It’s important to recognize that there are two different kinds of skin cancer: non-melanoma and melanoma. When it comes to the symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer the most obvious one is an unusual or new growth or sore that appears on the skin and doesn’t go away. The sore may itch or bleed. If you don’t have it checked out you may also notice that it slowly starts to grow or change shape. If this happens it’s time to call your Tulsa, OK, skin doctor.
The three different kinds of non-melanoma skin cancer include:
Basal cell carcinomas: Often found on the head or neck, this flesh-colored bump may contain blood vessels or may ooze or crust over.
Squamous cell carcinomas: These skin growths or lumps are often rough to the touch and may look scaly. They can be found just about anywhere, but are often found on the head, neck, arms and even the genital area.
Merkel cell carcinomas: This skin cancer takes on the appearance of a flesh-colored or red mole. They are most often found on the face, neck or scalp.
While most people will examine areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, it’s also important to recognize that skin cancer can develop on non-exposed portions of the body as well, which is why you should always conduct a full physical exam on yourself, even on areas like the soles of the feet or the genitals.
What are the warning signs of melanoma?
It’s important to be able to spot melanoma early on since it can be a potentially life-threatening form of skin cancer. Warning signs include:
- A growth, lump or sore that doesn’t heal
- Redness or swelling around the growth
- Tenderness, pain or itching
- A sore or mole with a poorly defined border
- A growth that isn’t symmetrical in shape
- A growth that contains more than one color
Don’t let skin cancer sneak up on you. When caught quickly it can be treated and removed before it causes more serious and long-term health problems. Turn to Midtown Dermatology in Tulsa, OK, to schedule your annual skin cancer screening.