For decades, medical communities have warned people about the dangers of too much sun exposure. Unfortunately, doctors still diagnose more than five million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer each year. People of any age can get skin cancer, and signs are more widespread than just a mole or suspicious spot in an obvious place. Skin cancer can develop on the bottoms of the feet, in the genital area, and under fingernails, too. Monthly self-exams and understanding the signs and symptoms of the different types of skin cancer can help people catch the condition early.
A pink, white, or skin-colored bump or lesion that appears on the face, ears, or neck may be a sign of basal cell carcinoma. The lesion may have a waxy appearance or be flat, red, and scaly. Some become irritated, bleed, and then scab over, and they may itch or hurt. This type of skin cancer begins in the basal cells, which are responsible for creating new skin cells after the old ones die. Less severe than melanoma, basal cell carcinomas seldom spread to vital organs, but they can cause nerve or muscle injury and disfigurement if not treated. About eight out of ten skin cancers are of the basal cell type.
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