By Best Self Staffer: Annie Paschal
As we draw near to the end of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, we want to share information about the different types of skin cancer as each one shows different types of symptoms.
Basal cell carcinoma occurs on areas of the skin that experience a lot of sun exposure. Signs of this type of cancer can include a slightly shiny or white-colored bump on the skin. It can also appear as a scar-like wound.
Squamous cell carcinoma most often appears on the face, ears, and hands. Individuals with darker skin, however, are more prone to this type of skin cancer in places that do not get lots of sun exposure. Symptoms include a hard, red-raised area or a flat area that appears dry and cracked.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer because it can develop on any area of the body. Melanoma most often appears as a normal mole that then becomes cancerous. This type of cancer can affect people of all skin types and tones. Symptoms include brown-colored spots with darker flakes inside, a mole that has changed color or size, or a small wound that is irregular in shape. Individuals with darker skin tend to experience these symptoms in places that do not get a lot of sun exposure, such as under the nails.
Other, less common types of skin cancer include:
Kaposi sarcoma: This type of skin cancer is rare, affecting less than 20,000 people in the United States a year. It can occur more often in individuals with an autoimmune condition. Signs include purple, red, or brown spots on the surface of the skin.
Merkel cell carcinoma: This type of skin cancer is also rare but occurs mostly in older individuals. Merkel cell carcinoma causes firm, shiny lumps that raise on or just under the skin and in hair follicles. It is most often found on the head and neck.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma: This uncommon and aggressive cancer originates in the skin’s oil glands. Sebaceous gland carcinomas, which usually appear as hard, painless nodules, can develop anywhere, but most often occur on the eyelid.
Whether symptoms have been noticed or not, it is recommended that everyone receive a skin cancer screening once a month. The sooner these symptoms are recognized, the better chance there is to help prevent or treat cancer.
Information and photo source: mayoclinic.org