You can decrease your chance of skin cancer by awareness about skin cancer symptoms.Skin cancer — the unusual development of skin cells — mainly happens on skin exposed to the sun. However, this common type of cancer can also happen on areas of your skin not usually exposed to sunlight.
There are three major forms of skin cancer—melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
You can decrease your chance of skin cancer by avoiding or limiting exposure to UV radiation. Checking your skin for dubious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Detection in early levels of skin cancer gives you the best chance for successful skin cancer therapy.
Where skin cancer forms
Skin cancer forms mainly on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the face, scalp, lips, ears, chest, neck, hands and arms, and on the legs in women. But it can also develop on areas that rarely see the light of day — your genital area, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and your palms.
Skin cancer influences people of all skin tones, including those with darker skins. When melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, it’s more probable to happen in areas not normally exposed to the sun, like the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Check for skin cancer symptoms
Signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma typically happens in sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your face or neck.
Basal cell carcinoma may seem as:
- A waxy or pearly bump
- A brown scar-like lesion
- A scabbing or bleeding lesion that heals and returns
Signs and symptoms of melanoma
Melanoma can develop anyplace on your body, in normal skin or in an existing mole that becomes cancerous. Melanoma mainly appears on the trunk or face of affected men. In women, this type of cancer most often forms on the lower legs. In both cases, melanoma can appear on skin that hasn’t been exposed to the sun.
Melanoma can influence people of any skin tone. In people with darker skin tones, melanoma tends to happen on the soles or palms, or under the fingernails or toenails. Melanoma signs are as follows:
- A brownish spot with darker speckles
- A mole that changes in size, color or that bleeds
- A small lesion with an abnormal portion and border that appear white, pink, red, blue, or blue-black
- A painful sore that burns or itches
- Dark lesions on your soles, palms, fingertips or toes, or mucous membranes lining your nose, mouth, anus, or vagina