And the best way to uncover and pinpoint any signs of skin cancer is to get naked!
That’s right; you need to look your body over regularly. To help protect yourself, use the pictures below and the various skin cancer warning signs listed to pre-diagnose and stay on top of your skin’s condition.
Why? Because someone dies of melanoma skin cancer every 62 minutes.
But you can protect yourself. If detected early, before a melanoma tumor starts to spread, the survival rate goes from a low 15% to about 99%.
What are the Main Warning Signs of Skin Cancer?
Over the past several decades, more people have gotten skin cancer than all other cancers combined. This includes breast cancer, leukemia, colon and rectal cancer and cancers of the prostate, bladder and lungs.
Whenever a new mole forms or an existing mole changes appearance:
- In size,
- In color,
- In shape,
- In feeling,
- Or bleeds,
And the wound doesn’t heal, you may be seeing a sign of skin cancer.
Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common skin cancers. But melanoma is by far the most deadly, responsible for thousands of deaths annually. Plus, this killer-cancer is rapidly on the increase.
Melanoma can begin anywhere, even on skin that isn’t been exposed to the sun. It may appear as a new growth or as changes in an existing mole.
Here are more specific details on melanoma skin cancer warning sign:
Size – Look for a mole that’s grown larger (or possibly smaller) over the past few weeks or months. Although melanomas can be tiny, they’re usually bigger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
Color – Whereas most normal moles and freckles are brown or black with clearly defined borders, melanomas tend to be multi-colored with speckles and irregular borders. They may combine shades of brown, tan and black or even pink, gray, red, white or blue.
Shape – When a mole or growth has ragged, uneven, irregular edges and one half is a different shape than the other half or the pigment spreads into surrounding skin, it’s often a sign of melanoma.
Feeling – A waxy, scaly or crusty mole is often a warning sign of some form of skin cancer other than melanoma. However, in more advanced cases of melanoma, the texture of the carcinoma can become hard or lumpy, itchy, tender or painful and may ooze or bleed.
Bleeds – Watch out for sores that don’t heal or any growth that bleeds.
Melanoma can also be a dark sore in your mouth, nose, vagina or anus, on the soles of your feet, palms of your hands or on your fingertips or toes.
Signs of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Although melanoma is the most deadly, basal cell carcinoma is the most common, accounting for 90% of all skin cancers in the U.S. Basal cell is also the least serious, since it grows slowly and seldom spreads.
Here are the major warning signs of basal cell skin cancer:
- A pale, shiny, smooth or waxy bump,
- A flat brown, red or flesh-colored rough and scaly patch or sore.
Squamous cell skin cancer can be more serious since it spreads more often than basal cell carcinoma. However, it usually spreads slowly.
The following squamous cell carcinoma warning signs can appear on any body areas exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands and ears:
- A firm red spot or bump,
- A lump or flat sore that may be rough, scaly, dry, crusty or develop a scab. It can become itchy or tender and possibly bleed.
Use these guidelines and pictures when you take your clothes off to look your body over for the warning signs of skin cancer. But realize that many normal moles and skin spots can be irregular in shape and color.
And basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma carcinomas don’t always look like skin cancer pictures or fit skin cancer warning sign descriptions.
How to Use these Signs and Pictures of Skin Cancer
Since it’s vitally important to catch skin cancer early, if you see a new spot or one that seems to be changing, have a dermatologist check it out.
But before that, you need to get naked on a regular basis and learn to read the map laid out on your skin, so you can recognize any changes.
And, when you’re looking for the warning signs of skin cancer, be sure to check out the hard to see places like your back, bottom, feet and the top of your head. Maybe you can invite a good friend over to help you out!