Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that one in five people will develop skin cancer by age 70, and more than two people die of skin cancer in the US every hour. (1) Early detection is key to improved survival rates. According to dermatologists, these are 12 skin cancer symptoms that you may be missing.
The Silent 12 Skin Cancer Symptoms You Might Miss, According to Dermatologists
Though skin cancer is common, it is easily preventable and treatable when caught early. There are three types of skin cancer (2):
- Basal cell carcinoma (most common)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (second most common)
- Melanoma (least common but most deadly)
Unfortunately, there are many skin cancer symptoms that people don’t know about, so they don’t notice them when they appear. These are 12 skin cancer symptoms that many people miss, according to dermatologists.
1. Moles and Skin Growths That Aren’t Black or Brown
We all know to keep a close eye on our black and brown moles. However, dermatologists say that there are more types of skin growths to pay attention to than just those. Dermatologist Adele Haimovic explains that some melanoma moles can be pink or more closely match the color of your skin. Called amelanotic melanomas, they can appear more as just a bump on the skin, and therefore we ignore them. (2)
2. Family History
We don’t often associate skin cancer with family history. After all, isn’t it more related to sun exposure than anything else? While that may be true, having malignant skin cancer in your family increases your risk of developing melanoma by 50%. If you have a family history of this disease, you must have regular check-ups with a dermatologist to catch developing cancer cells early. (2)
3. Bleeding After Shaving
If you shave often, you probably cut yourself from time to time. However, if you notice this happening frequently, it could mean there is something more problematic at play. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas bleed easily from even minor traumas like being shaved over. Pay attention when you shave – if you notice the same spot bleeding every time, get it looked at by a dermatologist. (2)