Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States, and it is important to be informed about the signs and symptoms of this potentially deadly disease. Skin cancer can be caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds, a weakened immune system, and certain genetic factors. Knowing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer can help you detect it early and get the treatment you need.
The most common sign of skin cancer is a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin growth. If you notice any changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole, it is important to have it checked out by a doctor. Other signs of skin cancer include a sore that does not heal, a lump or bump that is red, scaly, or crusty, and a spot that is itchy, tender, or painful.
It is also important to be aware of the risk factors for skin cancer. People with fair skin, light hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to develop skin cancer. People who have had a lot of sun exposure, have a family history of skin cancer, or have had a previous skin cancer diagnosis are also at higher risk.
If you are concerned about skin cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can perform a physical exam and may recommend a skin biopsy to determine if you have skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.
Being informed about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is the best way to detect it early and get the treatment you need. If you notice any changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin growth, it is important to have it checked out by a doctor. Knowing the risk factors for skin cancer and talking to your doctor about any concerns you have can help you stay healthy and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.