How To Identify 3 Types Of Skin Cancer

Health & Medical Articles

Skin cancer is a type of cancer that presents itself as an anomaly on the skin. Skin cancer can be serious if you don't catch it early, so you need to know what to look for. Here is how to identify 3 different types of skin cancer.


Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, but it is the most deadly. Out of nearly 74,000 melanoma cases, around 10,000 die.

Developing moles is a natural sign of aging, and it is usually harmless. However, an atypical mole is often the first sign of melanoma. Here is an easy way to know how to identify melanoma. Know your ABCDEs.

A- Asymmetry

Harmless moles grow perfectly round. However, malignant moles are asymmetrical. If you are unsure if a mole is asymmetrical, draw a line through the center of it. If both halves are not equal, you could be dealing with melanoma.

B- Border

There is a clear border between a benign mole and your skin. Melanoma will be uneven, and fade into your skin. The edges won't be smooth and even. It may look like black marker soaking into wet fabric.

C- Color

All of your benign moles should be the same color. They're most likely medium to dark brown. However, melanoma often causes other colors to appear in your mole. Usually it will start with black spots. However, it could also appear blue, white, or red.

D- Diameter

Melanoma moles are usually larger than benign moles. However, sometimes melanoma moles will be small when they first appear. If you think a mole is larger in diameter than it used to be, you should get it checked out by a dermatologist. Benign moles generally stay smaller than a standard pencil eraser, while melanoma grows larger.


Benign moles stay the same for the rest of your life. If you see any of your moles changing in any way, you should contact your doctor immediately. This includes the change in diameter and color.

Basal Cell

Basal Cell Carcinoma, or BCC, is the most common type of skin cancer. More than 2 million people are diagnosed with BCC every year. BCC mostly commonly forms on the head, neck, and hands, because of their prolonged sun exposure.


One sign of BCC is a sore that won't seem to heal. It often presents itself as an open wound that bleeds or oozes. It may heal, and then open again.

Another sign of BCC is a red patch on the skin. It might look like a rash, but it will be persistent and not heal. The red patch might itch, hurt, or cause no discomfort at all.

A mole-like bump is another sign of BCC. However, these bumps are shiny, and can be clear, red, pink, or white. Benign moles are not shiny, so if you find a shiny one, you need to call your doctor.

Another growth you need to watch for is often pink, rolled around the edges, and indented in the middle. It might look like a pink bump that was pushed down in the center.

The last warning sign of BCC is a scar-like patch of skin. The area will be white or yellow and waxy-looking. The outside of the scar-like patch will be poorly-defined and asymmetrical.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma also appears on sun-exposed skin, but not quite as often as BCC. It can also appear on your genitals. Here is how to identify this type of cancer.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma can present as a mole-like bump. However, it will likely be firm and red in color.

Another sign to look out for is a flat, scaly sore that crusts over. The sore could be completely new, or grow on an old scar.

This cancer could also appear on your lips or in your mouth. It would begin as a rough patch of skin, that may eventually evolve into an open sore.

When Squamous Cell Carcinoma appears on the genitals, it usually shows as a rash or wart.

Skin cancer needs to be detected as early as possible. Finding it before it spreads will reduce your need for extensive treatment, such as skin cancer surgery. If you see any of these anomalies on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist. 


27 July 2015

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