Skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. Although U.S. doctors diagnose about 9,500 people with skin cancer daily, it is also the most preventable cancer, highly treatable with early detection. Monthly self-exams can help you find changes in your skin. There are three main types of skin cancer, and each type has its own early warning signs.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most widespread skin cancer, affecting 3.6 million people yearly. It begins in the basal cells, which produce new skin cells as old ones die. Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays triggers the uncontrolled growth of abnormal basal cells. Preventative measures include checking the sun-exposed areas of your body, especially your head, face, and neck.

Signs and Symptoms

● Irritated skin – Red, swollen, scaly, crusty, bleeding, itchy, or tender patches that do not heal within a few weeks
● Skin spots or bumps – New or existing growths that change in size, shape, or color
● Unusual sores – Lumps, blemishes, or marks that look or feel different from other body blemishes

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight or tanning beds or lamps can cause squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, the second most common skin cancer. It most often affects the scalp, neck, shoulders, forearms, back of the hands, face, ears, lips, or inside your mouth. The middle and outer layers of the skin contain squamous cells that protect the tissue beneath.

Signs and Symptoms

● Open sores – Red sores that fail to heal completely
● Skin growths – Raised edges with a lower center that may bleed or itch
● Skin patches – Thick, rough, scaly, crusty, or bleeding patches


Melanoma develops in the skin cells that produce melanin, giving your skin its color. Although the exact cause is unclear, ultraviolet rays from sunlight or tanning equipment increase your risk of melanoma. While only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are in existing moles, 70 to 80 percent of melanomas appear on normal-looking skin. Melanomas frequently appear on women’s legs and men’s trunks. Still, they can arise anywhere on the skin, even in areas without sun exposure. The five-year survival rate for early detected melanoma is 99 percent.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Changing mole – Differences in size, shape, or color
  • Fingernail or toenail line – A dark-brown or black vertical line beneath the nail
  • Fingernail or toenail skin – A band of darker skin around a nail
  • Firm, dome-shaped growth – Feels firm, may look like a sore, and may bleed
  • Growing spot – Has a jagged border, more than one color, and is growing
  • New skin growth – Pigmented or unusual looking
  • New spots – Different from others on your skin but may look like an age spot, new mole, or freckle
  • Scar-like skin – Slow-growing patch of thick skin

You Can Trust SuperGroup with Your Skin

If you have been affected by skin cancer, the doctors at SuperGroup offer reconstructive surgery options to restore function and aesthetics. Learn more about our skin cancer reconstruction options today.