Understanding What Skin Cancer Can Look Like

By Alley Benton
Updated December 21, 2016
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Understanding What Skin Cancer Can Look LikeIf you notice any areas of your skin that change in an unusual and/or persistent way, you must seek advice from your physician. In all likelihood, you don't have to worry about it at all. However, if you do have skin cancer, then it is better to catch it early, as treatment is more likely to be successful. Hence, you need to learn what can skin cancer look like.

Could It Be Skin Cancer?

If a freckle or mole changes, it could be a sign of cancer. This is why you absolutely must speak to a physician straight away. Early detection is key in all forms of cancer, as it makes treatment easier, more effective, and less invasive. A quick trip to the doctor has the potential to save your life.

What Can Skin Cancer Look Like?

There are numerous signs of skin cancer. However, the most common one is when a mole, a freckle, or a normal skin patch starts to change in how it looks and/or feel. You must get to know your own body and your skin, so that you can spot anything unusual and any changes. There are parts of your skin that you can't see, so try to use a mirror, or ask a trusted friend or your partner to do it for you, or even to take pictures.

Below is some information on what can skin cancer look like. Remember that if you meet any or all of these symptoms, you don't necessarily have skin cancer. You could also have skin cancer and not have any of these symptoms. Some key things to look for include:

1. The symmetry of your moles and freckles. If they are asymmetrical, you should have the patch checked out.

2. The border of your moles and freckles. If the edge is jagged or blurred, do have it checked out.

3. The color of your moles and freckles, with healthy moles being of a singular color, usually black, tan, or brown.

4. The size of your moles and freckles, with the diameter being no larger than 6 mm in diameter.

5. Whether there are changes to your mole, with healthy ones staying the same for life (although some may fade away).

These five keys are also known as the ABCDE of melanoma (Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolution).

Other Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer:

The most common signs of skin cancer are the ABCDE mentioned above, and particularly a change to an existing mole, freckle, or other patch of skin. However, some of the other signs to be aware of include:

1. New sores or growths that will not heal.

2. Sores, moles, or spots that hurt or itch.

3. Growths, moles, or freckles that scab, crust, or bleed.

If you do notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your physician. And if you notice these signs in someone else, encourage them to visit their physician. It is probably nothing, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.





* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.