The importance of catching early skin cancer symptoms is not to be misunderstood: with early detection the chances of recovery are much higher. In fact, a recent study by Euromelanoma states that melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) deaths could be reduced by 54% if detected early: these people could have been treated.
There are three main types of skin cancer, which all produce both similar and unique symptoms: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While some types of skin cancer are very well treatable, other are very dangerous or even deadly, especially when detected in a later stage.
That’s why we need to look out for early skin cancer symptoms: so what are those?
Early skin cancer symptoms: Skin growth
If a skin growth increases in size, you might want to consider this a warning sign. Skin growths can be hard to diagnose, as some may be harmful but others are non-cancerous. Next to size, look for colors: if skin growth appears in brown, black, multi-color or pearly it might be risky. Have it checked out by a specialist if you don’t feel comfortable with a certain skin growth.
Early skin cancer symptoms: Moles or birthmarks
We described melanoma earlier on as the most deadly form of skin cancer. This type usually forms from moles. These can be moles that have existed for a long time or brand new ones. Especially change is important to look out for: if a mole changes in form (not round anymore), color(becomes different color than brown), symmetry (becomes asymmetrical) or height(borders start to appear) these could be early skin cancer signs. Make sure to have a mole checked out if you don’t trust.
Birthmarks pretty much have the same directions. Although melanoma cases from birthmarks are not common, changes, as described above, may be signs of risk.
Early skin cancer symptoms: Spot or sore
A skin spot or sore that is not a mole or birthmark could still pose a risk. If a spot or a sore doesn’t feel comfortable, make sure to look out for warning signs. Especially if:
· A spot itches
· A spot hurts
· A spot has a crust that doesn’t disappear or changes in form or color
· A scab changes in form or color
· A spot erodes
· A spot bleeds
These do not have to be skin cancer symptoms of course but don’t take any risk and have any spot or sore checked out by a doctor or dermatologist if you don’t feel comfortable about it.
Early skin cancer symptoms: Open sore
Last but not least: if you have an open sore that does not heal within 3 weeks, something might be going. Don’t take your chances by waiting it out, but schedule an appointment to have the sore looked at by a specialist.