Skin Cancer Doesn’t Always Start as a Mole

Skin Cancer Doesn’t Always Start as a Mole | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale

Skin Cancer Doesn’t Always Start as a Mole

Although atypical moles are the most common signs of skin cancer, they aren’t the only symptom. Spectrum Dermatology encourages everyone to get annual mole checks which should also encompass an overall survey of sun damage and risk factors. Melanoma is the most well-known and deadliest of skin cancers, but it’s also the rarest. However, melanoma is the type of cancer most often associated with moles.

Non-melanoma cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma usually aren’t linked to a mole. They are also much more common than melanoma. Squamous cell often presents like a red, scaly bump. They might look like a scab or an aged wart. However, if it doesn’t go away, that’s a sign you need to see a dermatologist.

Sometimes squamous cell carcinomas look like craters, described as little volcanoes with bloody centers. Neither squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma is deadly, but they can cause disfigurement. Craters sometimes happen for other reasons, so it’s important to keep an eye on it to see if it starts to heal on its own.

Basal cell carcinoma presents as red patches a lot of the time. It might look like the skin is irritated and may peel. Some people confuse it with dry skin. In reality, it’s your immune system responding to abnormal (cancerous) cells. The reaction is inflammation. If a red patch persists for more than a week without change, see a dermatologist.

Basal cell cancer can also present itself like an open sore, sometimes with a scab. Some people confuse it with a small injury. Although basal cell carcinoma doesn’t “spread” through open wounds to other parts of the body, they can still be dangerous if they are near your mouth, nose, or eyes. Of course, the most inherent danger is the cancer itself. Any wound that seems to take unnaturally long to heal should be checked immediately.

Schedule An Annual Skin Exam At Spectrum Dermatology

In some cases, there are no skin symptoms of skin cancer at all. However, a skilled dermatologist can determine if you’re at risk and if other symptoms are present. If you do have a type of skin cancer, there are various treatments, and early detection is key. Call Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400 and schedule a consultation.