Early Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a common type of cancer that emerges from the skin. About 90% of skin cancer cases arise due to exposure to UV radiation. In melanoma, cancer cells arise from moles on the skin which cause inflammation on the site. The cancerous cells can invade other parts of the body.

What is cancer that you can see and detect by yourself?

Unlike all other cancers that spread inside the human body, skin cancers form on the outside and are visible. Early detection of cancer can save a life. 99 percent of all cases are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early.

Can skin cancer be detected in a blood test?

Melanoma Skin Cancer may be detected early with a blood test. Studies show that melanoma skin cancers can be detected long before dermatologists can visually detect them.

What does skin cancer rash look like?

Skin cancer rashes are more likely to contain oddly colored patches of skin. Skin gives a shiny waxy look. Skin cancer rashes have a scaly appearance, and the skin may also crack or bleed. Raised bluish or yellow bumps may also appear on the skin.

Do skin cancer spots appear suddenly?

Moles that bleed, itch, or change color are often early warning signs of melanoma. Melanoma may suddenly appear without any warning, but can also develop from or near an existing mole.

Rapidly growing moles also need to be examined by your dermatologist.

When should you get a mole checked out?

You must consult a dermatologist if you have:

  1. Moles with an irregular shape,
  2. Moles that are larger than most,
  3. Moles that have some pinkness,
  4. Newly appeared moles,
  5. Moles that have uneven color

How to check for skin cancer?

Most melanomas can be seen with the naked eye. The best way to find  skin cancer is to examine your skin:

  1. Make a detailed picture of moles, freckles, or other markings on your body.
  2. Examine your entire body once a month.
  3. Ask your spouse to check the body parts that are difficult to see for you.
  4. Know your mole patterns and if there is any change then consult your dermatologist.
  5. See your dermatologist annually and get a full-body skin exam once a year.

How to spot skin cancer?

Melanoma skin cancer can spread quickly to other organs so it is important and necessary to detect it early. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma has not spread is expected to be 98 percent. Once it has spread, the survival rate decreases significantly.

Most of us have moles, freckles, and other marks on body skin. Most of these marks are normal but some may be precancerous or skin cancer. Finding it early, when it’s small and has not spread, makes skin cancer much easier to cure.

When to worry and consult a doctor?

If you examine the following signs then you must worry and see your dermatologist:

  1. The appearance of a bump or lump on the skin,
  2. Unfamiliar spots,
  3. Sores that do not heal,
  4. Itching
  5. Change in the surface of a mole,
  6. Color spreading of mark to its surrounding,
  7. New spots on the skin,

How to spot basal cell carcinoma early?

Basal cell carcinomas usually grow in areas that get direct exposure to the sun, such as the face, head, and neck. However, they may show up anywhere. You must take care about:

  1. Raised itchy patches on the skin,
  2. Small shiny pear-shaped bumps on the skin may be pink or red in appearance.
  3. Pink growths with raised edges and a lowering area in their center.
  4. Open sores that do not heal or come back again.
  5. Flat firm scar-like pale areas

How to detect Squamous cell carcinomas?

You must look for:

  1. Bleeding patches,
  2. Wart-like growths on the body,
  3. Raised growths,
  4. Rough or scaly red patches

What are the ABCDEs of skin cancer?

You must know the ABCDEs of skin. So you can detect skin cancer early.

A = Asymmetry 

Common moles can be divided into two halves if a line is drawn between them. Early melanomas are asymmetrical i.e., one part of a mole or birthmark doesn’t match the other.

B = Border

Early melanomas often have uneven borders and scalloped or notched edges. The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

C = Color

Common moles are usually a single shade of brown or black. Early melanomas when progress, they appear red, white, and blue may appear. The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

D = Diameter

The diameter is the width of a circle across its center. The diameter of a melanoma is usually larger than a mole. Early melanomas generally grow to at least the size of a pencil eraser (about a ¼-inch across) or sometimes can be smaller than this.

E = Evolution

The mole is changing in size, shape, or color or it may adopt the size not described above.


The image used as featured image in this article, “Extensive neoplastic infiltration of skin”, is a derivative of “Figure 4: Very ugly looking 15×15 cm tumor with areas of necrosis.” originally published in an article with the title as “Rapid growth and local advance of an aggressive papillary thyroid cancer with anaplastic transformation in an elderly woman” by Abtar HK, Chehade HEH, Chami A, Mneimne M. Rapid growth and local advance of an aggressive papillary thyroid cancer with anaplastic transformation in an elderly woman. J Case Rep Images Surg 2017;2:38–40, used under CC BY. “Extensive neoplastic infiltration of skin” is licensed under CC BY by King.

What are the techniques for the early detection of skin cancer?

The diagnosis & early detection of skin cancers depends upon various conventional techniques in an invasive manner. However, there are non-invasive skin cancer diagnostic methods given below:

  1. Confocal microscopy,
  2. Computer-aided analysis,
  3. Dermoscopy,
  4. Electrical bio-impedance,
  5. Fluorescence spectroscopy,
  6. The multispectral imaging technique,
  7. Optical coherence tomography,
  8. Photography
  9. Raman spectroscopy,
  10. Colonoscopy,
  11. Terahertz spectroscopy,
  12. Thermography,
  13. Tape stripping

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