Skin Changes That Could Indicate a Type of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is caused by

damage DNA

Skin cancer form when

Cells begin to divide rapidly and unevenly

Annual medical skin checks are recommended for everyone to look for

Changes in the skin

Benign means

not harmful

Malignant means


Carcinoma is a

cancerous tumor

Actinic keratosis

Pink or flesh-colored precancerous lesions that feel sharp or rough; resulting from sun damage. Should be checked by a dermatologist

Normal mole

Small brownish spot on the skin ranging in color from pale tan to brown or bluish black

basal cell carcinoma

Most common and least severe type of skin cancer; often characterized by light or pearly nodules.

Characteristics of basal cell carcinoma

Sores, reddish patches, or a smooth growth with an elevated border.

squamous cell carcinoma

more serious that basal cell carcinoma, characterized by scaly red or pink papules or nodules. Also appear as open sores or crusty areas; can grow and spread in the body

malignant melanoma

Most serious form of skin cancer as it can spread quickly (metastasize). Black or dark patches on the skin are usually uneven in texture, jagged, or raised. Melanomas may have surface crust or bleed.

Malignant melanoma is the least common but is

100% fatal if left untreated - early detection and treatment can result in a 94% 5 year survival rate but drops drastically once it reaches the lymph nodes

Intense UV exposure may increase the risk for melanoma more than

Chronic continuous exposure does

Who's more susceptible to skin cancer

People with light skin and a tendency to burn

Oncology esthetics

Medical study of cancer it's causes and treatments

The American cancer society recommends using the ABCDE cancer checklist to help make potential skin cancer easier to recognize when checking existing moles

A - AsymmetryB - BorderC - Color D - Diameter E - Evolving


The two sides of the lesion are not identical


The border is irregular on these lesions


Melanomas are usually dark and have more than one color or colors that fade into one another


The lesion in a melanoma is usually at least the size of a pencil eraser


Melanoma as a lesion often changes appearance