Skin cancer occurs when there is abnormal growth of skin cells. It commonly develops in areas that are exposed to the suns’ rays, like the face, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands. Although skin cancer can occur in people of all colors and races, those with light skin who burn very easily are at a higher risk.

There are three main types of skin cancer, which include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most common form of skin cancer and commonly develops in individuals with fair skin. Signs of basal cell carcinoma include flesh-colored bumps or pink patches of skin. The most common cause is frequent sun exposure or the use of tanning beds. If caught early on, this type of cancer can be prevented from moving into tissues and nerves.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. It often appears as red bumps, scaly patches, or a sore that heals and then reopens. This form of skin cancer can grow deep into the skin, which is why early detection is so important.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It often develops in a mole or will appear suddenly as a dark spot on the skin. The best way to discover melanoma is through frequent self-evaluation and understanding or the ABCDEs of melanoma. Looking for the following signs can help you catch melanoma early on.

Asymmetry- If one-half of a mole is unlike the other half, it may be at risk.

Border- Moles with an irregular or poorly defined border.

Color- Moles that contain more than one color, including brown, black, white, red, or blue.

Diameter- If a mole is larger than 6mm in size.

Evolving- If a mole changes in shape, size or color.

If you notice any of these changes, or if a mole itches or bleeds, be sure to make an appointment with a dermatologist or contact Tuscaloosa ENT today. We will work to properly examine and diagnose any skin cancers early on so that treatment is most effective.

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