Skin cancer is a common form of cancer that primarily develops on the skin due to the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of skin cancer so that you can detect it early and seek prompt medical attention. The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Here are some warning signs for each:
Basal Cell Carcinoma:
- Pearly or waxy bump: A raised, translucent, or pearly bump that may appear flesh-colored, pink, or white.
- Open sore: A sore that doesn’t heal or keeps coming back, often with a central indentation or crust.
- Scar-like area: A smooth, shiny, or scar-like area that is slightly raised and may be white, yellow, or waxy.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
- Red, scaly patch: A red, scaly, or crusty patch of skin that may bleed or develop into a sore.
- Open sore or ulceration: A persistent, non-healing sore or ulcer that may have a raised border and sometimes crusts or bleeds.
- Growth with a central depression: A raised, growth-like area with a central sunken or crusted area.
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole or lesion doesn’t match the other half.
- Irregular borders: The edges of the mole or lesion are uneven, scalloped, or notched.
- Varied colors: The mole or lesion has multiple colors (shades of brown, black, blue, red, or white) or an uneven distribution of color.
- Large diameter: The mole or lesion is larger than the size of a pencil eraser (usually greater than 6 millimeters, but melanomas can be smaller).
- Evolution or change: The mole or lesion is changing in size, shape, color, or texture over time.
Additional warning signs that should prompt you to see a dermatologist or healthcare provider include:
- A mole or lesion that itches, burns, or is painful.
- A mole or lesion that oozes, crusts, or bleeds and doesn’t heal.
- A new mole or growth that appears in adulthood.
Early detection and treatment of skin cancer significantly increase the chances of successful treatment. If you notice any of these warning signs or have concerns about a skin lesion, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with a Dermatologist in Islamabad or healthcare provider for a thorough examination and, if necessary, a biopsy. Regular skin self-exams and annual check-ups with a dermatologist can help detect skin cancer early and reduce the risk of complications. Additionally, practicing sun safety measures, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, can help prevent skin cancer in the first place. For a medical examination refer to a Skin Specialist in Lahore.