Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of the
three types of skin cancer. Even melanoma, the deadliest form, can usually be
successfully treated if caught early. And remember, no matter what your age,
minimizing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light will help reduce your risk
of skin cancer and
Although melanoma can occur in normal skin, it
often develops in a pre-existing mole or other dark spot. Examine your moles and
look for these ABCDs:
Asymmetry. One half of
the mole doesn't match the other half.
Border irregularity. The
edges are often ragged, notched, blurred or irregular, and the pigment may
spread into the surrounding skin.
Color. The mole may have
shades of black, brown and tan, or areas of white, gray, red, pink or blue.
Diameter. Melanomas are
typically larger than a pencil eraser, although early melanomas may be smaller.
Also look for changes in
the surface of a mole, scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a bump,
spread of pigment from the border into the surrounding skin, itchiness, tenderness,
� Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This may appear as a small, raised, smooth,
shiny or pearly bump that's whitish to pink in color. Over time, it may crust, ulcerate
and bleed. BCC is slow growing and rarely invades internal organs, but it can
spread to nearby tissues if left untreated.
� Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Most often this type of skin cancer appears as a
raised, scaly, crusty or wart-like bump, ranging in size from a pea to a chestnut.
SCC can spread internally if left untreated.