Skin cancer usually occurs because of abnormal cell growth in the body. While the disease is common in areas exposed to the sun, it can develop across other regions of the body. Unfortunately, it is easy to misdiagnose signs of skin cancer for other skin diseases. But statistically, about 1 in 5 people in the country develop the condition by age 70. So, it is imperative to be mindful of these skin cancer warning signs.
Sometimes people develop slightly raised, flat, large lesions on the legs or face. But in the beginning, these may appear as painless spots on the skin, which may not be any cause for alarm. However, if these lesions turn red, purple, or brown, it might be a sign of Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) and should be diagnosed at the earliest.
Unusual changes in the moles present on one’s skin may indicate the presence of melanoma. A few indicators to watch for include when one half of the mole does not look like the other or the mole has irregular borders. The color of a mole may also differ from one area to the other. One should also check if the mole changes in shape, color, and size.
Red, itchy patches
Everyone develops rashes on the skin occasionally. Sometimes, one may unexpectedly develop raised, reddish patches. Moreover, the condition might be persistent and not go away, which is a possible indicator of basal cell carcinoma. Furthermore, one may experience flat, yellow patches, open sores that do not heal, and pink growths with raised edges.
Firm red, purple, or pink bumps or lump-like developments on the skin are often linked to signs of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). While the bumps usually do not hurt, they grow fast and may turn into sores or ulcers. Furthermore, MCC is one of the most severe types of skin cancer and must be treated immediately.
Changes in fingernails
Sometimes people develop a dark spot or streak under their fingernails. The phenomenon may also occur under the individual’s toenails. Such developments are often mistaken for a fungal infection. However, one must check with a healthcare expert as this might be an indicator of melanoma.
Someone at risk of cancer should also look for new growths and texture changes on their skin. Other unexpected signs to watch for include swelling of the skin and discoloration.