Healthcare professionals always encourage people to keep an eye out for any obvious skin cancer symptoms. Every type of skin cancer will have a better prognosis the sooner it is detected and treated by a skin cancer surgeon or a dermatologist.
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that is diagnosed – but the most common forms of skin cancer are not usually fatal if they are diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist. Let’s talk about the signs of the most common types of skin cancer, what you should do if you notice any of them, and where you can go in Miami for world-class Mohs surgery to keep your skin healthy and cancer-free.
Different Types of Skin Cancer and Their Symptoms
Skin cancer is classified into several types, based on the cells it impacts. Each type of skin cancer has its unique set of symptoms. The following are the most prevalent kinds of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent type of skin cancer, affecting over 20% of people in the United States. This cancer develops in the basal cells, which are located at the bottom (base) of your epidermis, which is the topmost layer of the skin.
Basal cell carcinoma is most prevalent in regions of the body that are exposed to sunlight, although it can occur in the skin on any area of the body.
- A superficial open sore that either does not heal or does heal but recurs
- Oozing or crusting of the sore
- A lesion that bleeds on its own without being picked or handled
- A pink growth with elevated edges and a depressed center, possibly with irregular blood vessels that resemble wheel spokes
- Pink or red bumps with black, blue, brown, sparkly, pearly, or translucent parts
- A raised, red, itchy spot on a flat and hard spot that looks pale or yellow
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is the second-most frequent type of skin cancer. Over 1 million Americans are diagnosed with this type of skin cancer every year. Squamous cells, which are flat cells at the top of the skin’s surface, are where it develops.
Squamous cell carcinoma can appear in a variety of ways, including as:
- An open sore with elevated borders and a rough, red, scaly patch
- A dome-shaped, hard growth
- A sore that becomes an old scar, resembling a wart
- A horn-shaped growth beginning as a hard lesion, then quickly spreading and getting much wider or extensive; may double in size over a few weeks
These symptoms can appear in the genitals, specifically in the vaginal, vulvar, cervix, and penis linings. They are linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in most cases. They can also appear in the vaginal area in women who have had lichen sclerosis.
Squamous cell carcinoma is also likely to develop in those who have received organ transplants, most likely owing to the immunosuppressive drugs required to avoid organ rejection.
Melanoma starts in cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for producing the pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanoma skin cancer accounts for about 1% of all skin cancers, and it is responsible for most skin cancer mortalities.
Melanoma usually begins as alterations to an existing mole, but it can also appear as a sudden unusual lesion on the skin. Experts recommend checking for the “ABCDE” indicators to identify moles or lesions that could be melanoma:
- Asymmetry – One-half of a mole or lesion does not match the other.
- Border – The edges are poorly defined.
- Color – The mole comes in various hues, including red, blue, black, pink, and white.
- Diameter – The mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser, over 1/4-inch across.
- Evolving – The mole varies in color, shape, or size.
The “ugly duckling” rule is another melanoma warning indication. The majority of common moles have a similar appearance, usually almost perfectly round. A skin cancer surgeon should investigate a mole that stands out from the rest.
See a Dermatologist or a Skin Cancer Surgeon for an Evaluation of Skin Cancer Symptoms
It’s critical to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible if you notice any of the above signs of skin cancer. Early detection of skin cancer considerably improves the chances of successful treatment.
Melanoma has a 99% 5-year survival rate if identified early. The 5-year survival rate drops to 66% if it spreads to the lymph nodes. If the cancer spreads to other organs, the 5-year survival rate becomes roughly 27%.
Skin Cancer Surgeon in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida
Here at the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, we specialize in detecting and treating benign and malignant skin lesions. We not only effectively handle skin cancer through early identification and thorough surgical and nonsurgical methods, but we also educate our patients about its warning signs and prevention.
Our board-certified and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon is dermatologist Dr. T.J. Giuffrida. Thanks to his extensive knowledge and skills, he can provide a fast diagnosis and expedient treatment for any skin disease.
Call the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center today at (305) 461-2000 or fill out our simple online form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!