Recognizing the signs of skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer for both men and women in the US. Fortunately, it is also treatable in the vast majority of cases, as long as it is diagnosed early. By being vigilant about recognizing the signs of skin cancer and reporting them to your physician when you see them, you can increase the chances of getting an early diagnosis and treatment if the disease happens to you. If you notice any of these signs of skin cancer, consider making an appointment with your physician.

A mole that suddenly looks different

Changes in moles can indicate skin cancer. If you have one or more moles, keep an eye out for these potential skin cancer symptoms:

  • Change in color
  • Change in shape or border
  • Change in size

Although these changes are the most common that occur with moles, you should have any changes in a mole evaluated by a physician. He or she may decide to take a biopsy of the mole to see if any cancerous or precancerous cells are present.

A red or pale patch of skin

Skin cancer can cause red or pale patches of skin that can be scaly and rough or flat and smooth. In some cases, these patches may have raised edges, black spots or pearl-like bumps. Frequently, these patches look like scars.

In some cases, these patches are pale and raised, which gives them a wart-like appearance.

A sore that won’t heal

Skin cancer can also appear as an open sore that won’t heal. The sore may go away and come back, or it may just remain open. In some cases, the sore may also ooze pus or have a crusty surface.

In some cases, these open wounds are confused with shaving cuts, so be mindful of perceived cuts that don’t heal. These could indicate skin cancer.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is pleased to offer a renowned cancer care program in San Jose. Our experienced team of multidisciplinary specialists provides comprehensive care for patients and their families using the latest technological advances. For more information, please call (888) 762-8881.

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