Top 5 Skin Cancer Warning Signs

Skin Cancer Warning Signs

If you’ve ever had a family member point out a suspicious looking mole and scold you to have it looked at, you’ve already identified one of the top skin cancer warning signs. Thankfully, skin cancer is one of the only types that pronounces itself on the outside in the early stages. This “working from the outside in” greatly benefits the afflicted leaving skin cancer one of the most easily detectible forms of malignancy. If you have any of the top 5 signs and symptoms of skin cancer detailed below, it’s best to schedule a doctor’s appointment and have yourself checked over, as early identification and treatment are critical to minimize potentially deadly outcomes.

1. The Mole: have a mole that is changing? Getting darker? Showing signs of asymmetry or bigger than a pencil eraser? You might want to have that checked. Melanoma skin cancer is most often identified by abnormal moles. While all abnormalities are not always indicative of a cancerous mole, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. The lesion: The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, most often manifests itself as a translucent lesion. Small blood vessels may be present on the surface as well. Heed the skin cancer warning signs your body is giving you, and see a dermatologist.

3. The growing lesion: Squamous cell carcinoma starts as a red, bumpy, scaly area that can rapidly develop into a growing tumor. This non melanoma skin cancer is the only one that will usually involve pain in the area.

4. The purple people eater: Merkel cell carcinomas show their skin cancer warning signs by displaying a quickly growing, red or purple bump that is not itchy. This is dangerous because these skin cancer warning signs can often be victims of mistaken identity, and be confused with cysts.

5. Marjolin’s Ulcers: These chronic wounds that won’t heal can develop into skin cancer. Your doctor will determine if you have a battle wound that requires further medical care, or this lesser known of the skin cancer warning signs.

Skin cancer is serious business, but it is preventable with proper sun care. Sunscreen, sunhats, proper coverage of exposed areas, and limited sun exposure are all critical to lowering your chances of developing this potentially deadly disease. If you have any doubt about a particular mark or lesion on your body, have it checked promptly by a medical care professional. And, if Grandma points out a mole at your family barbeque, take her advice, and schedule an appointment.