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A mole or pigmented skin lesion is the most common sign of any type of skin cancer. Doctors recommend regular skin exams to find these changes early.
During their annual primary health care examinations, survivors should request a full-body skin examination. A national study of physicians showed they are more inclined to screen when requested to do so by their patients.
The American Academy of Dermatology sponsors free SPOTme® skin cancer screenings.
Survivors should perform skin self-exams each month to look for skin changes.
Common signs and symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer:
A lump that is small, smooth, shiny, pale, or waxy
A lump that is firm and red
A sore or lump that bleeds or develops a crust or a scab
A flat, red spot that is rough, dry, or scaly and may become itchy or tender
A red or brown patch that is rough or scaly
Images sourced from the website of the National Cancer Institute (https://www.cancer.gov).
Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the shape, color, size, or feel of an existing mole. Using the ABCDE method is recommended.
For information on how to conduct a self-examination, visit the Detect Skin Cancer section of the American Academy of Dermatology website.
The American Academy of Dermatology has a free body mole map that people can use to keep track of moles. A record helps detect spots that are growing, bleeding, itching, or changing in any way.
Together does not endorse any branded product mentioned in this article.
Reviewed: June 2018