Skin Cancer Types and Skin Cancer Signs and Symptoms
A crucial step in the diagnosis of skin cancer is to be aware of early signs of skin cancer. Skin cancer warning signs vary depending on the type of cancer; for example, squamous cell carcinoma warning signs will differ from symptoms of melanoma. Being aware of these skin cancer warning signs is a central part of learning about skin cancer basics and in receiving appropriate medical treatment.
Types of Skin Cancer and Signs of Skin Cancer
Usually, symptoms of skin cancer will appear on places that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands and legs. However, skin cancer warning signs can also appear on the palms or the spaces between the toes.
The most common types of skin cancer and their symptoms are:
|Basal Cell Carcinoma||Accounting for up to 90% of all skin cancer cases, basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. However, it is also the most easily treated type of skin cancer, and is the one least likely to metastize or spread.||Symptoms include waxy or pearly bumps on the face, neck and ears, as well as brown scar-like lesions or flat, skin-colored lesions on the back and chest.|
|Squamous Cell Carcinoma||Compared to basal cell carcinoma, this common type of skin cancer has a greater chance of spreading. However, with early detection, it can be easily treated.||Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include flat lesions with a rough surface on the face, hands, arms, neck and ears. Warning signs of this cancer also include firm, red nodules on the face, lips, ears, neck, hands and arms.|
|Melanoma||Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer as well as the most fatal. This skin cancer develops in normal, healthy skin as well as in existing moles, which become malignant. While melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, it usually appears on the face and upper back.||The warning signs of melanoma are the appearance of large brownish spots with darker flecks of color that can appear anywhere on the body; a mole anywhere on the body that changes in color, size or texture or that begins to bleed can also be a sign of melanoma. Small lesions that appear on the trunks and limbs that have irregularly-shaped borders, as well as spots of red, blue, white or blue-black, are also warning signs of this deadly form of skin cancer. Dark lesions that appear on the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, lips, vagina or anus or on the palms, soles, fingertips or toes, are also melanoma warning signs.|
Less common types of skin cancer also have warning signs that you can look for:
Kaposi's sarcoma is a rare but serious type of skin cancer that forms in the blood vessels of the skin. Symptoms of this cancer include red or purple patches that appear on the skin or mucous membranes.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that grows and spreads rapidly; its symptoms include red, pink or blue nodules that appear underneath the skin and in hair follicles.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma is a very aggressive skin cancer and appears in the form of hard, painless nodules which can develop anywhere on the body but which most often occur on the eyelid.
Not all changes in skin are signs of cancer. The only way to determine whether or not you may have skin cancer is to have your skin analyzed by a doctor or dermatologist.