Early signs and symptoms of skin cancer often go unnoticed. Initially, most skin cancers do not cause any pain, itching or bleeding. People tend to confuse the disease with other common skin problems.
Skin cancer develops mostly on the sun-exposed areas of the skin: scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands. In some cases, the cancer can develop on the legs (mostly in women), palms, beneath the fingernails, spaces between toes, under toenails, and genital area.
Characteristic and location of symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type of cancer you have.However, in most cases, the first sign of a basal cell carcinoma is a whitish bump which eventually bleeds and makes a crust that keeps coming. A squamous cell carcinoma can be characterized by a red, dry and scaly nodule or lesion. The lesion tends to be small at the beginning and grow as the tumor progresses.
Basal cell carcinoma – basal cell carcinoma tends to appear on the scalp and upper trunk, or face more precisely on the nose, eyelids, lips, cheeks, forehead or temples. The lesion may also develop on the chest or back. In general, basal cell carcinoma having the following characteristics:
- red or pink bump on the face, ears or neck;
- little flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion chest or back
- A lesion that do not heal.
Squamous cell carcinoma – this form of skin cancer develops most often in areas exposed to the sun: head and neck, upper body, forearms, hands and nails; however, the lesion can appear on other areas such as the mouth or genitals. In general, squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by either one of the following signs:
- a dry and red nodule that tends to be firm and scaly;
- A firm, warty, pink or whitish lesion that does not heal.
Melanoma – melanoma can develop anywhere on your body as an irregular large brownish or dark growth on your skin. Melanoma may also begin in or near an existing nevus (sharply-circumscribed and chronic lesion of the skin). The lesion tends to progress rapidly, which makes it the most serious form of skin cancer. Melanoma is responsible for nearly 75% of deaths from skin cancer. In most cases, melanoma is characterized by:
- a mole that changes color or size, and has an irregular contour;
- a blackish lesion on the skin or mucous membrane of:
o genital organs