What Does Skin Cancer Look Like? Early Detection

If detected in its first stages of development, skin cancer can be successfully cured. Skin cancer is a common form of cancer, and even the less common and more dangerous melanoma can usually be treated successfully if detected before the tumor metastasizes. You can detect the early warning signs yourself, and if you see something unusual on your skin that looks like it might be skin cancer, you can see your doctor and get their opinion. What does skin cancer look like?

The first visible symptom of skin cancer is a tumor on the skin, which can take various forms. It is easy to detect anomalies on the skin by doing frequent self-examinations, allowing you to have skin cancer treated at an early stage. Skin self-examinations are like breast examinations; ask your doctor on how to do a thorough examination and what to look for. You will need to check the entire surface of your skin, including your scalp and between your toes.

You should familiarize yourself with the features of your skin, including moles, technically known as nevi. The average person has between 10 and 40 nevi. It is also common to have a few dysplastic nevi. A dysplastic nevus is an irregularly-shaped or asymmetrical mole. Moles are benign growths, but you should watch them for any changes. If you see an increase in the number of moles or if existing moles change in appearance, color, or texture, this could be a cancerous tumor and should be checked by a doctor.

A basal cell or squamous tumor may appear as a rash or sore which does not heal over time, or as a lump resembling an odd mole. The best way to find these abnormalities is through skin examination. If you have these symptoms, ask your doctor if it may be cancer or some other condition.

The appearance of melanoma can capture the attention with its appearance at times. The melanocytes, or pigment cells located under the epidermis, are the same cells which form nevi. Keep track of your moles, especially dysplastic nevi, and if these undergo any changes you should visit your doctor immediately. Detecting melanoma early is very important to keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. If a mole changes color, increases in size, or changes shape and appears asymmetrical, or if there is a change or irritation in the surrounding tissue, the mole should be removed and examined by a doctor as it may be a cancerous tumor.

What does skin cancer look like? It can be an obvious problem, or look like a less severe skin condition. If you find irregularities, you should have them evaluated by your doctor to find out exactly what they are. Regularly examining your skin and checking for early warning signs can help you detect and cure skin cancer before the condition worsens.



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