Skin Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Types

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, and Types You Should Know. Before we jump into the world of skin cancer, let’s be clear: cancer is a serious business. It’s the most common form of cancer, with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed yearly in the United States alone. That said, it’s also one of the most preventable—and, if caught early enough, most treatable—forms of cancer.

It helps reduce your risk of developing cancer and increases your chances of early detection and successful treatment. However, if you create it, it’s essential to understand what skin cancer is and what signs to watch for. I aim to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding skin cancer and identifying signs, symptoms, and types worth being aware of.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Skin Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Types

Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, is the most common type of skin cancer. It almost always appears as a small raised bump on the areas of your skin that get more sun exposure, like your head, neck, and shoulders. The spot is often white, pink, or light brown and can be flat or raised. It’s usually painless and can look like warts or other skin conditions.

Regular check-ups with a dermatologist are essential for early detection of skin abnormalities, especially if exposed to excessive ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. In addition, your doctor may suggest performing a biopsy to determine the type of cell it’ll create. Most likely, the biopsy will show its making of abnormal basal cells.

Treatment options can vary depending on the BCC’s severity and size. But some common treatments include cryosurgery (freezing it off), curettage (scraping), or topical medications. If caught early enough, BCC is treatable and rarely spreads to other body parts.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most diagnosed type of skin cancer and can occur on any part of your body but on the neck, arms, and legs. It starts in the flat cells on the outermost layer of your skin and can sometimes spread to other parts of your body.

SCC causes by long-term ultraviolet (UV) exposure from sunlight and artificial sources, like tanning beds. The good news is that it’s often curable with early detection and treatment. However, it can look like a raised red lump or patch, a scaly flat sore, or warts. It can also cause small yellow bumps or develop in an existing scar or mole — so keep an eye on any new marks or changes to existing patterns on your skin.

If you think you may have SCC, see a doctor right away to determine if it needs treatment. While SCC can be severe if left unchecked, proper treatment can usually stop its progression and potentially spread to other parts of your body.

Melanoma: The Deadliest Form of Skin Cancer

The most severe type of skin cancer—and the one you should watch out for—is melanoma. It’s the deadliest form of skin cancer and starts in the melanocytes, which are the cells that produce melanin, a pigment that gives your skin its color. Unfortunately, if it does not grab early enough, it can cause death.

But with regular self-checks for any changes in your skin and follow-ups with your dermatologist to identify potential risk factors, melanoma is highly treatable when detected in its early stages.

Early signs & symptoms of melanoma

Skin Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Types

If you want to know what to glance for when it comes to melanoma, here are some signs and symptoms:

  • Asymmetrical moles or sores that are larger than usual
  • Moles or sores with irregular borders and multiple colors
  • Moles or sores that itch or bleed easily
  • Moles or sores that have changed in size (grows larger)or color over time

It’s also significant to note that not all skin cancer appears as a mole on your skin — they can also present as flat red spots. So if you have any suspicious spots on your skin, see your doctor immediately.

Warning Signs of Skin Cancer, You Shouldn’t Ignore

Skin cancer is a serious business, and knowing the warning signs is essential. If you spot any of these, make sure to contact your healthcare provider right away:

  1. New consider or a sore that won’t heal (basal and squamous cell carcinomas).
  2. A spot on your skin that is enlarging or changing color (melanoma).
  3. It is an existing mole that begins to itch, bleed, or become elevated (melanoma).
  4. A red patch on the skin that is painful and doesn’t go away in a few days (squamous cell carcinoma). A scaly or crusty bump (basal cell carcinoma).
  5. An open sore that doesn’t heal for several weeks (basal cell carcinoma).

Skin cancer can heal if found early, so please take the time to examine your skin regularly and make sure to visit your doctor if you notice any changes in moles, freckles, or other marks on your skin.

Who’s Most at Risk of Developing Skin Cancer?


Many people are at risk of developing skin cancer, but some are more prone to it than others. For example, if you spend much time in the sun or have fair skin, you’re at a higher risk of skin cancer.

Sun Exposure

People with naturally fair or freckled skin that burn easily in the sun have an increased risk of skin cancer because their bodies don’t make enough melanin. This pigment gives our skin color and helps protect us from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

The sun discharges two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. Which can damage the DNA in your cells and cause skin cancer. Light-skinned individuals are often more sensitive to UV radiation, absorbing more harmful UV lights than dark-skinned individuals.

Age & Gender Preference

Skin cancer can occur at any age, but it’s more common among adults over 50—according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). Men are also more likely to develop skin cancer than women, although women experience higher rates of certain types like melanoma.

Prevention and Early Detection of Skin Cancer

Catching skin cancer in its early stages is critical; knowing your skin is the best way. But first, become familiar with any moles, birthmarks, and other marks on your skin by self-examining at least once a month.

If you notice any changes or new marks on your skin. Such as a growth that increases in size or a spot that bleeds—you should visit a dermatologist for an evaluation.

Sun Safety Tips

We get it—sun exposure can feel great, but excess exposure can be dangerous! So it’s essential to stay safe under the sun’s rays. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Seek shade when possible, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  2. Wear sun-protective clothing and accessories like sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-resistant clothing outdoors.
  3. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher (remember to reapply every two hours!).
  4. Avoid direct tanning and UV tanning beds, which significantly increasing skin cancer risk.

With these tips in mind, you can take better care of yourself and be aware of any changes in your body before they become more serious issues related to skin cancer or other diseases.


Skin cancer is the most common form in the United States, and various factors can cause it. The most important thing to be sure of is that early detection is crucial and that you should be mindful of any skin changes or potential signs or symptoms. Be sure to see a dermatologist if you are concerned, and remember that skin cancer prevention by taking simple precautions such as reducing your exposure to the sun and using sunscreen. Protecting your skin is essential for overall health, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

What do you think?

Written by Vitals Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms and Treatments

lung cancer

Lung Cancer Symptoms Can Save Your Life