Skin cancer may initially appear as a nodule, rash or irregular patch on the surface of the skin. These spots may be raised and may ooze or bleed easily. As the cancer grows, the size or shape of the visible skin mass may change and the cancer may grow into deeper layers of the skin.
How does skin cancer usually begin?
The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to sunlight, especially when it results in sunburn and blistering. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage DNA in your skin, causing abnormal cells to form. These abnormal cells rapidly divide in a disorganized manner, forming a mass of cancer cells.
What does skin cancer look like in the first stages?
At first, cancer cells appear as flat patches in the skin, often with a rough, scaly, reddish, or brown surface. These abnormal cells slowly grow in sun-exposed areas. Without proper treatment, squamous cell carcinoma can become life-threatening once it has spread and damaged healthy tissue and organs.
How can you tell if a spot is skin cancer?
Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.
Do skin cancers appear suddenly?
While some skin cancer lesions appear suddenly, others grow slowly over time. For example, the crusty, pre-cancerous spots associated with actinic keratoses can take years to develop. Other forms of skin cancer, like melanoma, can appear very suddenly, while at other times, the lesions can vanish and reappear.
What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?
Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.
At what age does skin cancer typically occur?
Most basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically appear after age 50. However, in recent years, the number of skin cancers in people age 65 and older has increased dramatically.
What can be mistaken for skin cancer?
Top 5 Conditions Often Mistaken For Skin Cancer
- Psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that is believed to be related to an immune system problem, which causes T cells to attack healthy skin cells by accident. …
- Seborrheic Keratoses (Benign tumour) …
- Sebaceous hyperplasia. …
- Nevus (mole) …
- Cherry angioma.
What does mild skin cancer look like?
Basal cell tumors can take on many forms, including a pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels, on the ears, neck, or face. Tumors can also appear as a flat, scaly, flesh-colored or brown patch on the back or chest, or more rarely, a white, waxy scar.
Can you feel skin cancer?
First thing’s first — no, you cannot feel skin cancer, at least not in the same way you would a stomach ache or something like that. What you can feel, however, are some of the warning signs and symptoms that skin cancer might bring with it like itchiness, burning, and so on.
Can skin cancer be a flat red spot?
Basal cell cancers usually develop on areas exposed to the sun, especially the face, head, and neck, but they can occur anywhere on the body. These cancers can appear as: Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas, similar to a scar. Raised reddish patches that might be itchy.
Can melanoma appear overnight?
Melanomas may appear suddenly and without warning. They are found most frequently on the face and neck, upper back and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.
What do melanoma spots look like?
Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
How quickly does a melanoma grow?
Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.
Is a melanoma itchy?
The skin lesion may feel different and may itch, ooze, or bleed, but a melanoma skin lesion usually does not cause pain.
When should I be worried about skin spots?
Keep an eye on spots that look different to others on your body, spots that have changed in size, shape, colour or texture, and sores that itch, bleed, or don’t heal. If you notice any of these signs, see your doctor and seek their expert opinion.