What does skin cancer look like?
Any kind of malignant tumors is manifested locally in the beginning — in the affected place, and then, if it's not treated, it affects health of the patient in general. In the case of skin cancer local symptoms preveal: people around can't recognise that the person is sick until late stages of the disease. Local symptoms of cancroid are noticeable with the naked eye: it can be a wound which doesn't heal for several weeks, a spot which is gradually increasing in sizes or a birthmark which changed its form or color. Depending on the type of tumor it can grow slow or fast, but anyway the integuments show progressing changes. Reddening, itch, pain, bleeding or peeling is often observed in the struck area. It's important to know that cancroid is capable to develop also on mucous membranes: in the mouth or in the nose cavity and also under head hair.
The general symptoms at any kinds of cancer are equally: loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, loss of weight, periodic causeless temperature increase up to subfebrile values (about 37.5 °C). Complaints of such kind have to be taken into account not only by the patient, but also by his/her family — it'srecommended to visit the doctor in such cases as soon as possible.
Types and stages of skin cancer
Skin cancer includes several oncological diseases having different origin, specific symptoms and forecasts at once. Such tumors as bazalioma, squamous cell carcinoma of skin and melanoma are diagnosed statistically more often than other types, but it's important to remember that there are also other new growths. Only the oncologist-dermatologist is capable to establish the exact diagnosis. Bazalioma is the most widespread type of cancroid which develops from epidermis cells.
The tumor looks like a small swelled knot, the network of blood vessels is visible under its surface. In the process of growth the tumor can exulcerate and bleed. More often bazalioma appears on face skin, sometimes on the hairy part of head skin. Usually the disease develops slowly and doesn't give metastases therefore the forecast for patients is favorable. Sometimes squamous cell carcinoma of skin is also called fungiform, because of specific appearance of the tumor. It represents large (up to several centimeters in the diameter) lump similar to a pedunculated wart. In 95% of cases it's located on the lower lip, but quite often it's also found in the mouth, especially in people with dentures.
The surface of the tumor can become covered by horny scales, and at touches it's easily damaged. This type of cancer is capable to get into deep skin layers and be transferred with blood circulation to other bodies and fabrics. Melanoma is the tumor which develops from the pigmented blood cells, melanocytes. As a rule, it develops on the place of birthmarks or freckles representing a pigment congestion. Melanoma is inclined to rapid aggressive growth and is capable to develop metastases at the early stages. Therefore it's so important to keep appearance of birthmarks under observation: if one of them changed its form, color or looks swelled, it's necessary to consult the doctor urgently.