If you find anything on your skin that looks like it shouldn’t be there and which you can’t identify, skin cancer pictures can help give you an idea of what you’re looking at but they cannot replace a medical consultation. Any anomaly you find on your skin that you can’t identify should be seen by a doctor. If you do some basic research on skin cancer, you’ll know what questions to ask.
When you have an understanding of the symptoms, you need to perform regular skin self-examinations to detect any possible skin tumors early on. This is similar to a breast examination. You should check all over your skin, including on your scalp and between your toes, using a wall mirror and handheld mirror.
Look carefully for irregularities during your skin self-examination and keep an eye on any you find. Early detection of skin cancer is possible because the first symptoms appear on the skin, but a skin tumor may look like a rash, mole, or sore. If you fail to have skin cancer treated early, it can metastasize, spreading to other parts of the body and creating additional tumors, possibly threatening your life. Any possible symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible; you cannot diagnose skin cancer yourself.
Melanocytes are the cells which pigment the skin, located between the dermis and the epidermis. These cells can mutate to form benign growths known as nevi or moles, or can become melanoma, a form of cancer. Moles are extremely common; the average person has between 10 and 40 moles. Having an especially large number of moles or having dysplastic nevi, or irregularly shaped moles, is a risk factor for melanoma. A doctor can help you determine your level of risk for melanoma and what you can do to detect it early. You need to watch for any changes in number or shape of your moles, and keep a close eye on dysplastic nevi. A change in size, shape, color, or the health of the surrounding skin may indicate melanoma and any such changes should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
The surface of the skin, or epidermis, is made of a layer of basal cells covered by a layer of squamous cells. These cells may become cancerous, forming squamous or basal cell carcinoma, the two most common types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. A nonmelanoma tumor may have a less striking appearance, looking like a small lump, rash, or sore which doesn’t heal. Any skin problem which doesn’t heal should be evaluated by a doctor.
The best way to catch skin cancer early is to regularly examine your skin and ask a doctor about anything you can’t identify, but skin cancer pictures can be used to help you determine which skin irregularities require immediate medical attention.