Signs & Symptoms

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Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms. There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers. Actinic keratosis is a skin condition that sometimes develops into squamous cell carcinoma.

Possible signs of nonmelanoma skin cancer include the following:

  • A sore that does not heal
  • Areas of the skin that are:
    • Small, raised, smooth, shiny, and waxy
    • Small, raised, and red or reddish-brown
    • Flat, rough, red or brown, and scaly
    • Scaly, bleeding, or crusty
    • Similar to a scar and firm

Possible signs of actinic keratosis include the following:

  • A rough, red, pink, or brown, raised, scaly patch on the skin
  • Cracking or peeling of the lower lip that is not helped by lip balm or petroleum jelly
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