The most obvious symptom of any skin cancer is a lump, patch or lesion on the skin that is out of the ordinary, or doesn’t heal within a few weeks. There are two types of skin cancer, non-melanomas and melanoma. Non-melanomas are the most common and the most successful to treat, especially if diagnosed quickly. Malignant melanomas can spread to other parts of the body, but if caught early enough can also be successfully treated, but may require more radical treatment. So what are skin cancer symptoms?
The earlier skin cancer is detected and treatment started, the better the outcome, so an awareness of skin cancer symptoms is vitally important. With Skinvision’s iPhone app you can easily keep a regular check on your skin and quickly be aware of any suspicious changes.
Non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms
Non-melanomas most often appear on areas of the skin regularly exposed to UV light, such as the face, ears, hands, forearms, lower legs and shoulders. Basal cell carcinomas present as small red or pink lumps, but can also look like pearl-white spots, or red, scaly patches. As the lump slowly grows it might crust and bleed, or become a painless ulcer that won’t heal. Squamous cell non-melanoma is less common and shows as a firm pinkish lump, that is either smooth or has a scaly and crusted surface. Squamous cell tumours are often painful when touched and bleed easily. Non-melanomas are easily treatable and rarely spread to other parts of the body.
Melanoma skin cancer Symptoms
A malignant melanoma is a rarer form of skin cancer, that does spread to other organs if not caught and treated early, and causes up to 2,000 deaths a year in the UK. This means melanoma is slightly different from skin cancer symptoms as well: The first sign you have might have a melanoma is the development of a new mole, or a change in the appearance of existing moles, especially if this change happens rapidly. You need to be aware of moles that are getting bigger, changing shape, bleeding, becoming crusty, changing colour, or starting to be itchy and painful. Generally malignant melanomas have ragged edges and are asymmetrical in shape, often combining two or more colours.