How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer affects many people, and in severe cases, it can result in death. It is important to recognize the signs of skin cancer, so that treatment can be applied during the early stages of the disease. Here is some information about skin cancer and how to identify its symptoms:

Can skin cancer be readily recognized?

Most skin cancers occur on areas of the skin that can be readily accessed. Thus, signs of the cancer are usually visible. These signs aid in early detection, but it may be necessary to review the state of your moles and other skin conditions regularly. Although a mole may have changed in appearance over time, it can be difficult to identify the changes if you were not aware of the original appearance of the mole.

When examining your skin, be sure to check all of the accessible areas of your body, including hidden sites, such as the skin beneath your nails, between your toes and even the soles of your feet.

What are symptoms of melanoma skin cancer?

Melanomas are often visible as newly developed spots on the skin. However, changes in the appearance of a mole can also indicate a melanoma. Here are a few ways that a melanoma can change change your moles:

  • Asymmetry- If your mole does not have a symmetrical shape, it could be cancerous. Compare the halves of your moles; they should match.
  • Borders- The borders of a mole should be well-defined and smooth. If the borders become irregular or have a roughened texture, they could indicate cancer.
  • Color- If your mole does not present an even color, shade changes may be due to melanoma.
  • Diameter- Moles that are large in diameter should be tested for melanoma.

What are the symptoms of basal cell carcinomas?

Basal cell carcinomas usually present as an area of skin that is paler than adjacent normal skin or as a shiny, semi-transparent bump. You may even be able see arteries and veins in the middle of the growth. The carcinoma may be more apt to ooze or bleed if it receives trauma. 

What are symptoms of squamous cell carcinomas?

Squamous cell carcinomas often look like a firm, rough-surfaced lump. It often has a red, scaly appearance and may continue to spread over time. 


Various types of skin cancer are treated differently. For instance, melanomas are often treated based on the stage of the cancer, and the treatment may include radiation, chemotherapy, medications or surgery. Basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are usually treated using Mohs surgery to remove the growths.

If you suspect that you have developed skin cancer, schedule a consultation with a dermatologist like one from Dermatology Surgery Center as soon as possible.