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How do you know if you have skin cancer?

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Quick Answer

Two of the most common signs of skin cancer are moles that change in size or appearance or an open skin wound that isn't healing. The exact symptoms of skin cancer vary according to the type, WebMD states.

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Full Answer

There are three primary types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, according to Mayo Clinic. The signs of basal cell carcinoma appear in areas where the skin is most exposed to the sun, Mayo Clinic states. Bumps that have a pearly appearance and flat brown scar-like lesions indicate that basal cell carcinoma is present. Other signs include spots with a dent in the center and reddish, brown, bluish patches on the skin, according to WebMD.

Squamous cell carcinoma is also likely to appear on sun-exposed areas, according to Mayo Clinic. Physical signs of the cancer include flat crusty lesions or firm red nodules on the skin. Flat bumps that begin to bleed without healing also indicate squamous cell carcinoma is present, WebMD states.

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Changes in the size or shape of a mole may indicate it is present. Multicolored spots featuring irregular borders that may or may not bleed are also warning signs, WebMD states. Individuals at risk of melanoma should also look out for moles larger than the size of a pencil eraser.

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