Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and is the most common type of cancer around the world. While skin cancer usually forms on sections of the skin exposed to direct sunlight, it can also grow on other parts of the body that don’t often see the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. It’s essential to recognize skin cancer and seek treatment before it starts to cause significant damage.

What are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

At times, cancer has very few signs and can develop to untreatable levels, which is why it’s important to look for early clues. Cancerous skin growths form without any itching or abnormalities. However, following the ABCDE (Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving) rule while assessing your skin will help you determine whether or not medical attention is needed.


The ABCDE rule states that you should check a spot or mole should for:

  • Asymmetry: One part of the spot does not align with the other
  • Border: A spot or mole with ragged, blurred, or irregular borders should be a reason for concern
  • Color: A varying color distribution around the mole could be a sign of trouble
  • Diameter: The mole or spot is more than a quarter inch in diameter
  • Evolving: The spot or mole changes in size and shape


Melanoma ABCDE rule


Skin cancer symptoms can be spots, lesions, or sometimes raised skin cells which may slowly or rapidly multiply. Other early signs of skin cancer include unusual changes in moles, skin tags, and any uncomfortable feeling on the skin.

Birthmark - mole - papilloma - melanoma

Advantages of Early Skin Cancer Detection

Detecting skin cancer during its initial stage increases the effectiveness of treatment. Uncontrolled skin cancer can lead to the loss of a limb or even death.


Types of Skin Cancer

There are three major types of skin cancer

  • Basal and squamous cell skin cancer
  • Melanoma skin cancer
  • Merkel cell skin cancer

Basal and squamous cell skin cancer is among the highly treatable forms of cancer. Its symptoms include the presence of a waxy bump or a flat brownish scar.

Melanoma skin cancer is less common, and like other types of skin cancer, it can develop on any part of the skin. Signs of melanoma include unusual markings and blemishes on the skin. Usually, early melanoma does not go beyond the epidermis or dermis. Merkel cell skin cancer is a rare type of skin cancer often associated with old age and appears mostly on the face, neck, or head. It is also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma.


  • Skin cancer comes in many forms and has a few warning signs. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid dangerous habits like spending prolonged amounts of time in the sun and working with toxic substances. Boosting your immune system will also help your skin stay healthy.

  • To stop skin cancer at its early stages, be sure to conduct a routine personal skin examination. Remember the ABCDE rule, and always talk to a dermatologist if you see something out of place.


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