What are the warning signs?
Skin cancer has one lucky thing going for it. It is a disease which has early warning signs that can make getting treated easier than most other cancer types. In most cases, people who have skin cancer get it in an area that is routinely exposed such as the arms, neck or legs.
But what do you have to look out for if you think you have skin cancer? It is easy to get confused but luckily this quick guide will highlight the noticeable signs that you should be looking out for routinely, no matter how much time you spend in the sun.
Lumps, Bumps and Scabs
Other pages on this site go in to detail on what to look out when you have a skin tag and the reassurance that a skin tag will always be a benign tumour. That doesn’t mean other bumps on the skin should go unchecked, especially if you happen to see red bumps appear. Red bumps are a very common sign of skin cancer and often occur in bunches rather than sporadically.
Scabs are another area that should always be checked out. If a person has a scab that doesn’t show signs of changing, healing after roughly a month or bleeds a lot, it should definitely be looked at by a doctor. That itching sensation could be more than just a rash.
One bump that comes up time and time again in skin cancer diagnoses is the ulcer. If an ulcer appears and stays in place for over a month, as well as not feeling sore to the touch, it needs to be checked out.
A lot of older women who get skin cancer can see it originating from the lower leg. In most cases it starts of as an itchy patch that never seems to shift. This is known as Bowen’s disease and should be thought of as a very early precursory form of skin cancer. Luckily if someone does have it, it means the cancer will be very treatable, although there are other parts of the body that can get Bowen’s disease. Both males and females may be at risk of having it if they start to notice a white patch form on the edge of the mouth or an itchy red area around the genitals (predominantly in females) that doesn’t seem to shift.
Because of its superficial nature, signs of skin cancer mean that people are more willing to go to a doctor and be checked than other cancer types. So if you or someone you know has any of the symptoms talked about here, it would be best to get a check-up instead of just leaving it as is. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.