What are the five signs of skin cancer and its causes?


What is skin cancer?

Cancer basically develops when a DNA molecule (which is responsible for encoding genetic information) is damaged making the body unable to repair the damage. The damaged cells grow rapidly and divide uncontrollably. When this process occurs in the skin, it results in the development of signs of skin cancer.


The damaged cells multiply to form a tumor. Skin cancers can be detectable in the early stages because a skin cancer develops in the outermost layer, epidermis of the skin where a tumor is clearly visible.

Types of skin cancer

There are basically three types of skin cancer. These cancers develop within the skin in a different type of cell and are named according to the type of cell in which it develops. Skin cancers are divided into classes. Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer.

The three different types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
  • Melanoma

Five signs of skin cancer

Awareness of these five signs of skin cancer will help you when to consult your doctor.

  • Asymmetrical growth patterns-cancer will grow in an irregular pattern.
  • Border for new outgrowths as cancerous cells has indistinguishable borders.
  • Examine the color of any new growth on the skin. Color of skin cancers can be brown, blue or red, translucent, tan or black.
  • Notice the diameter of the growth. Doctor should not ignore a diameter of more than a quarter of an inch. Growths of this size have a greater chance to be cancerous.
  • Look for the elevation of growth above the skin which appears to be uneven.

Causes of skin cancer

Most frequent cause of skin cancer is an exposure to ultraviolet light. Other important causes of skin cancer may include:

  • Use of medicines which are prescribed to cure autoimmune diseases
  • Use of tanning booths
  • Exposure to x-rays
  • Contact with harmful chemicals such as arsenic

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