What does skin cancer look like?

By Danny Dale
Updated 2024-04-10 04:44:45 | Published 2018-12-14 05:50:28
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Skin cancer

Malignant tumors, including skin cancer, initially manifest locally at the affected site. If left untreated, they can progressively impact the patient's overall health. In the case of skin cancer, local symptoms are predominant and visible to the naked eye. These symptoms may include a non-healing wound persisting for several weeks, a gradually expanding spot, or a birthmark that has changed its form or color. Depending on the type of tumor, its growth rate may vary, but the skin will inevitably show progressing changes. Redness, itching, pain, bleeding, or peeling are often observed in the affected area. It's crucial to note that skin cancer can also develop on mucous membranes, such as inside the mouth or nose, and even under head hair.

General symptoms associated with various types of cancer include loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, weight loss, and periodic, unexplained temperature increases up to subfebrile values (approximately 37.5 °C). Such complaints should be taken seriously by both the patient and their family, and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

Skin cancer encompasses several oncological diseases with different origins, specific symptoms, and prognoses. The most commonly diagnosed types include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. However, it's essential to remember that other types of skin growths exist, and only an oncologist-dermatologist can establish an accurate diagnosis.

Basal cell carcinoma, the most prevalent form of skin cancer, develops from epidermal cells. It appears as a small, swollen knot with a visible network of blood vessels beneath its surface. As the tumor grows, it may ulcerate and bleed, frequently appearing on facial skin or the hairy part of the head. This type of skin cancer typically progresses slowly and rarely metastasizes, resulting in a favorable prognosis for patients.

Squamous cell carcinoma, occasionally referred to as fungiform due to its distinctive appearance, presents as a large, pedunculated wart-like lump, usually up to several centimeters in diameter. In 95% of cases, it's found on the lower lip, but it can also occur inside the mouth, particularly in denture wearers. The tumor's surface may become covered in horny scales and can be easily damaged upon contact. This form of cancer can infiltrate deep skin layers and spread to other organs and tissues via the bloodstream.

Melanoma, a tumor that develops from pigmented cells called melanocytes, typically arises from existing birthmarks or freckles, which are pigment congestions. Melanoma is prone to rapid, aggressive growth and can develop metastases at early stages. Therefore, it's crucial to monitor the appearance of birthmarks and consult a doctor urgently if any changes in form, color, or swelling are observed.

Early detection and timely treatment of skin cancer are vital for a positive prognosis. Regular self-examinations and professional check-ups can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment and recovery.

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  • Skin Care
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