What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

When recognizing what are the symptoms of skin cancer, it is always advantageous to do so in the early stages than in the late stages. Early recognition can be a life-saver.

There are many symptoms associated with skin cancer. This is one of the most common, yet most dangerous types of cancers that an individual may experience. It has been established that each year in the United States there are over one million diagnoses that are directly related to skin cancer. If you were to combine all the individuals who are diagnosed with breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and even lung cancer, and compare that number to the individuals that are diagnosed with skin cancer, you would find that the skin cancer patients out number the patients of the other types of conditions. For this reason, it is important that you learn to identify the symptoms associated with skin cancer.

Early Stages of Skin Cancer

In the early stages of skin cancer, there are many distinct symptoms that may make themselves known. You should pay special attention to the following:

o You should pay special attention to the moles that you have on the body. It is essential to make a note of any changes that may occur on this skin marks. This includes changes that affect the overall size, changes that relate to the color, as well as changes that have to do with the shape.

o There are guidelines that you can use to determine if there is a cause for concern when it comes to moles. It is the “ABCD” model. This stands for “asymmetry”, “borders”, “color”, and “diameter”. If you notice any changes relating to moles and other skin markings that are affected in such a way that any of the areas that are part of the “ABCD” model are affected, it is essential to seek medical care.

o You should always pay special attention to the height or the overall elevation of a mole. This is especially true if that same mark on the skin had been flat in previous incidents.

o There are changes that may possibly occur on the actual surface of a mole that could indicate the onset of skin cancer. If you notice that the mole has a crust like substance, has breakage, bleeds, or releases a clear substance, you should be concerned.

o Many individuals may begin to notice that the area in and around a skin mole starts to experience a burning sensation. Many may also notice tingling and may even be tempted to scratch due to itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need to consider setting up an appointment with your doctor for an examination.

o It is important to pay special attention to moles and other markings of the skin when it comes to skin cancer, but it is also important to ensure that you consider the areas around the marks as well. Be sure to watch for redness and tenderness. You will also want to be careful when it comes to changes as far as coloring is concerned.

Late Stages of Skin Cancer

In the late stages of skin cancer, there are many symptoms that one should pay special attention to. This is true even if you have never been diagnosed with skin cancer. It could just be that the early symptoms were not quite noticeable. The following represents the symptoms that you may discover:

o Many may notice that they experience pain in the location of where a mole is located on the skin. This pain may or may not be accompanied by skin breakage, bleeding, and even the oozing of a clear substance.

o The lymph nodes located in the area of the neck, groin, and even in the armpit may become swollen.

o Many may discover that they develop a persistent cough that may or may not be accompanied with mild to severe weight loss.

o Headaches are often an indication of a serious underlying issue if any other symptoms of skin cancer are present. This is especially true if they are accompanied by seizures.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek assistance from a medical professional immediately. Skin cancer symptoms that are evident prove that there is an underlying medical condition that may require professional care.

The Best Ways To Beat The Deadliest Skin Cancer

We’re about halfway through the summer, and I’ll bet you’ve heard no end of warnings about sun exposure. Stay out of the sun for long periods of time. Avoid the sun during its peak hours. Wear lots of sunscreen when you go out. The litany goes on and on. The dangers of irresponsible sun exposure are real… but they are also misunderstood

It is true that repeated sunburns contribute to skin cancer, but not to the kind of skin cancer that you think. Sunburns can lead to the most common forms of skin cancer-basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These are superficial cancers, meaning that they don’t easily spread within your body. They are also easily treated when you catch them early.

The kind of cancer you think of when someone says skin cancer is melanoma. This is much more serious. Melanoma can spread throughout your body and be very deadly. But the link between sun exposure and melanoma is tenuous.

There is evidence that sunburn does increase the risk of melanoma. But there is also evidence that sun exposure without sunburn will actually lower your risks.

For example, in one study researchers found that people whose jobs force them to get regular sun exposure are less likely to develop melanoma than those who get no sun exposure as part of their jobs. (1)

In another study researchers discovered that people with melanoma had a greater chance of survival if they spent more time in the sun. (2)

As you can see, the connection between sun exposure and melanoma is more complicated than the simple “Sun is bad,” mantra that you hear from most dermatologists.

The two best ways to protect yourself from melanoma are to understand what responsible sun exposure means and to know how to recognize melanoma in its early stages–early treatment is key to survival.

Know the Skin You’re In

First, here are the keys to healthy sun exposure:

Do get some sunscreen-free sun exposure each week to bolster your vitamin D levels.

Do protect your skin from burning by covering up, finding shade, or using a safe sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient.

Don’t stay out in the sun for prolonged periods without taking measures to protect your skin.

Do take 1 gram of vitamin C before bed if you burn–it will help your body prevent long-lasting damage to your skin.

Do have a therapeutic lotion on hand in case of sunburn–my favorite is just straight aloe vera jelly.

Next, here are the ABCs of recognize a melanoma in its early stages

A. Asymmetrical Appearance: Take notice of moles that aren’t symmetrical in shape. This is a warning that something might be amiss.

B. Border Irregularity: Moles that have a rough or uneven border may be cancerous or in danger or becoming cancerous.

C. Color Variation: A healthy mole is usually uniform in color. Cancerous moles often have color variations within the mole, ranging from white to red to black to brown.

D. Diameter: Be concerned about any mole larger than a pencil eraser.

E. Elevation Change: Most healthy moles will not undergo any changes whereas a cancerous mole may change from a flat mole to one that is raised or it may grow in size.

If you have two or more of these ABCs in a single mole, it’s time to make an appointment with your dermatologist. It could save your life.

In Good Health,

Jay Brachfeld, M.D.

Skin Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Skin cancer is a very dangerous and common diseases which can have many different causes. It can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms.The most common skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma.

This disease represents the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, surpassing lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer but unlike other cancers only a very small number of people die from it. There are a variety of different symptoms and different types have different symptoms.

  • ulcering in the skin
  • changes in the skin that do not heal
  • changes in existing moles
  • discolored skin
  • Areas of the skin that are:
    • Scaly, bleeding, or crusty
    • Flat, rough, red or brown, and scaly.
    • Small, raised, smooth, shiny, and waxy.
    • Similar to a scar and firm

Signs of possible actinic keratosis are: Cracking or peeling of the lower lip and a rough, red, pink, or brown, raised, scaly patch on the skin. It is impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of skin cancer, the risk of developing such a cancer can be reduced significantly with the following steps:

  • avoiding sun exposure during the day
  • wearing protective clothing
  • reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • reapply sun block every 2 hours and after swimming
  • using a broad-spectrum sunscreen

Basal cell carcinoma

It is the most comon type of this disease and it occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, most often the nose. Often this appears as a small raised bump that has a smooth, pearly appearance. Basal cell carcinoma may spread to tissues around the cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma

It occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, such as the ears, lower lip, and the back of the hands. Squamous cell carcinoma may also appear on areas of the skin that have been burned or exposed to chemicals or radiation. Often this cancer appears as a firm red bump.

Actinic keratosis

It is a skin condition that fortunately is not cancer but can change to squamous cell carcinoma. It occurs in areas that have been exposed to the sun, such as the face, the back of the hands, and the lower lip.