What do the early stages of skin cancer look like?
Almost all skin cancers are treatable when diagnosed early. Thus, it is important to recognize the early signs of skin cancer and seek timely medical attention. Signs of skin cancer may appear anywhere on your body depending on the site affected. Skin cancer can be detected quite easily since you can see the changes occurring on your skin. Sometimes skin cancer may arise at relatively concealed places, such as inside your mouth, around your genitals, or under a nail. Thus, you must examine yourself thoroughly, preferably in front of a mirror, to look for any signs that may indicate skin cancer, such as:
- New growth on the skin
- An old mole that appears to be enlarged or a new mole that looks different from others
- A rough or scaly patch on the skin
- A nonhealing ulcer or sore or one that keeps coming back
- A mole or spot that has an irregular shape or appearance
- A skin patch or mole with an uneven color
- A brown or black streak under a nail
- A skin patch that itches or bleeds
- A skin patch or growth that is increasing in size
Examination of your skin, mouth, and nails may be done monthly. If you have a history of skin cancer, your doctor may ask you to examine it more frequently. You may take the help of your partner or a family member for examining the areas that are difficult to see, such as the buttocks and the back. Any suspicious-looking area must be brought to the doctor’s attention. It may not be skin cancer, but early diagnosis is important for managing the condition more effectively.