Most people check for skin cancer symptoms by looking for abnormal growths or changes in the appearance of the skin. However, there are some other, less obvious signs that can indicate the presence of skin cancer. These include changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole, and the development of new moles. If you notice any of these changes, you must see a doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
Read more about how to check for skin cancer symptoms and diagnosis in this article.
What are the first skin cancer symptoms?
The first sign is the appearance of a new mole or spot or a change in existing ones. The reason for going to the doctor is the detection of the following skin cancer symptoms:
- the fast growth of mole or spot;
- change in its structure (an ordinary mole becomes soft or dense);
- uneven edges;
- uneven color;
- diameter 6 mm or more.
Most often, skin cancer develops on the legs in women, on the trunk in men, and in the upper back, regardless of gender. Associated skin cancer symptoms include:
- inflammation at the edges;
- itching, burning, and tingling in the tissues of the mole;
- peeling, the formation of "crusts";
- cracks and ulcers;
- the appearance of new formations around the main focus.
What does cancer of the skin look like?
Skin cancer can take on various appearances, depending on the type of cancer and its location on the body.
- The most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, typically looks like a small, pearly-white bump on the skin.
- Squamous cell carcinoma can appear as a scaly, red patch on the skin or as a firm and crusty growth.
- Melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, can look like a large, dark mole on the skin, or it may appear as a small, dark patch on the growing larger skin.
If you observe any skin cancer symptoms, it is essential to see a doctor immediately, as skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early.
What doctor checks for skin cancer?
Different types of doctors may perform a mole check for skin cancer, depending on the individual's situation.
- A primary care doctor may perform a skin cancer screening as part of a routine physical exam.
- A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin conditions and can provide a more comprehensive diagnosis for checking skin cancer symptoms by studying the reports of the diagnostic tests accurately.
- A plastic surgeon may also be involved in treating skin cancer when an accurate diagnosis has been made, as surgical removal of the cancerous tissue is necessary in many cases.
How does a dermatologist check for skin cancer?
Doctors who specialize in diagnosing skin cancer have an impressive arsenal of diagnostic techniques to confirm or refute the diagnosis and classify the tumor. Mole check for skin cancer is the most prominent and easiest way to detect the presence of a neoplasm.
If you are worried that you are developing skin cancer, show the unusual area of the body to the doctor. So that he/she can do a mole check for skin cancer. The doctor will compare a suspicious mole or sore with other clusters of pigment cells. If there are concerns, the doctor will prescribe additional diagnostic method such as:
- A dermatologist checks for skin cancer using a dermatoscopy - a device that allows you to see the structure of the neoplasm in detail, in polarized light.
- For the final confirmation of the nature of the tumor, a biopsy is used. During a biopsy, the doctor takes a small piece of the patient's tissue from the affected area and studies it under a microscope in a laboratory.
- Ultrasound and tomography are also needed to identify possible metastases.
Skin biopsy to check skin cancer
A skin biopsy is a technique in which a tiny skin sample is dissected and examined for skin cancer symptoms. This procedure is often performed when a suspicious mole or growth is found on the skin. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area during a skin biopsy, and a small incision is made in the skin. The skin sample is then removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The following types of biopsies are done depending on the size and shape of the tumor:
- Shave biopsy. A small part of the top layers of skin is removed using a device resembling a razor (epidermis and a portion of the dermis).
- Punch biopsy. A small core of skin (epidermis, dermis, and superficial fat), including deeper layers, is removed using a circular tool.
- Excisional biopsy. An entire lump or an area of cancerous skin, including a part of normal skin, along with the fatty layer of skin, is removed using a small knife (scalpel).
What is the abcd method for checking for skin cancer?
The ABCD method is helpful to do a mole check for skin cancer. It can be performed at home if you are doubtful about a mole on your body. If you observe any of the following changes in it, you have it checked by a doctor.
- A - for Asymmetry, meaning that if you were to draw a line in the middle of the mole, the two opposite parts would not be mirror images of each other.
- B - for Border, the mole has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.
- C - for Color, the color of the mole is not the same throughout.
- D - for Diameter, the size of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser.
When do I need to do a mole for skin cancer?
It is essential to check your moles, especially if you are regularly exposed to sunlight, and have a fair skin tone. In addition, any new appearance should be given attention. For example, if you have a mole bigger than a pencil eraser, irregular borders, multiple colors, or changes in size, shape, or color, you should have a dermatologist check for skin cancer.
How is skin cancer self-detected?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and one of the most easily detectable forms of cancer. This is because it usually manifests as a growth or a lesion on the skin. Therefore you can do a mole check for skin cancer. In addition, the cancer is also often accompanied by other signs, such as itching, redness, and bleeding. Thus these skin cancer symptoms make it easily detectable.
Cancer treatment abroad
For skin cancer treatment, clinics abroad offer surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The type of treatment that is best for a particular patient depends on the type and stage of cancer and the patient's overall health.
Depending on the stage of development of skin cancer, various surgical interventions are performed. First, the doctors in the clinics aboard remove the tumor and 2 centimeters of healthy tissue. If during the diagnosis, it turns out that the lymph nodes are affected, then they are removed along with the tumor.
Finally, all removed tissues are sent for histological examination to identify malignant cells and other tumor features.If a large amount of tissue had to be removed during the operation, the patient might need a skin graft. The skin is taken from the patient himself or grown in the laboratory. This procedure is painless.
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
These therapeutic measures are necessary for advanced cancer when skin cancer metastasizes. Chemotherapy is usually done in a hospital setting. Perhaps intravenous administration of chemotherapy drugs or taking pills.
Today in many clinics abroad, a new chemotherapy technique known as isolated limb perfusion is performed. This treatment is appropriate in cases where skin cancer, like melanoma, has spread to a limb. In such cases, chemotherapy is performed on only one leg or arm. As for radiation therapy, irradiation in the terminal stages of skin cancer is performed daily for several weeks.
Best clinics abroad for treatment of skin cancer
Clinicsoncall collaborates with the leading JCI, ISO, etc. accredited clinics worldwide. Here are some of our partnering clinics:
- Quironsalud Teknon Medical Center (Spain)
- Memorial Hospital Group (Turkey)
- Sourasky Medical Center Ichilov (Israel)
- Nordwest Clinic (Germany)
- Severance Hospital(South Korea)
- Fortis hospital (India)
How much does skin cancer check up and diagnostics cost in clinics abroad?
The cost of checkups and diagnosis for skin cancer varies from country to country and clinic to clinic. Following is the estimate of skin cancer checkup costs in some of the most popular countries:
|Ultrasound for metastases||$300||$600||$600|
What does skin cancer look like?
Skin cancer can look like a mole, a spot, or a patch that grows irregularly, changes color, and is not asymmetrical.
How much does a skin biopsy cost?
The cost of a skin biopsy depends on the country and clinic in which the procedure is performed. On average, the cost of skin biopsy in countries like Turkey, Israel, and Germany is from $500 to $1500.
I was diagnosed with melanoma when I was 65 years old. At first, I thought it was just a bug bite, but after some months, I went to Severance Hospital, where I got my biopsy done, and I found out that I had stage 3C melanoma. I underwent two surgeries, one on my lower leg and the other on my groin area. The doctor told me I had cancer in two lymph nodes. Thankfully, my surgeries went successful, and two years later, I fully recovered from the disease. The medical staff at the hospital was professional and brilliant throughout my treatment process—highly recommended hospital.