Skin Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of skin cancer – the most common type of malignancy – include changes in the skin such as new or unusual moles, flaky red patches, raised growths, and other irregularities. Skin changes will vary according to the form of skin cancer that is present. There are various types of malignancies that can affect the skin, all with varying symptoms, but most cases can be classified as one of three types:

  • Basal cell carcinoma – The most frequently occurring form of skin cancer, symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include bumps that appear pearly or waxy, a dry or scaly patch that resembles a small open wound, and a pink growth. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the head and neck.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – This form of cancer often appears as a raised growth, wart, firm nodule, or scaly red patch that may bleed or develop a crust. Squamous cell carcinoma often occurs on the face, hands, and ears, but individuals with darker skin have a greater chance of developing it on areas that aren’t exposed to the sun. 
  • Melanoma – The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma can develop anywhere on the body as a new mole or out of an existing mole. Cancerous moles usually have an irregular border and appear black or brown, but they may sometimes be pink, purple, blue, white, or flesh-toned.

Consult with a doctor if you notice symptoms of skin cancer. Not all changes in skin indicate cancerous activity, but checking with a medical professional is the only way to ensure your skin is healthy. And as with most other cancers, a diagnosis in an early stage can lead to a better prognosis.  

Tampa General Hospital provides specialized care to men and women experiencing symptoms of skin cancer. Our physicians treat a high volume of cancer patients each year and utilize advanced medical technologies to provide targeted treatments and better outcomes.