How Quickly Does Skin Cancer Appear on the Body?

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Have you noticed the appearance of a sudden, unusual growth on your skin? Certain types of skin cancer, like melanoma, can show up very quickly and without warning. So, how can you know if it’s truly a cause for concern? The only way to determine if a skin growth is cancerous is by getting a skin cancer screening from a qualified provider. The expert dermatology team at Advanced Dermatology offers skin cancer screenings to detect many types of skin cancer and can offer a variety of appropriate treatment solutions at our practice locations in Katy, League City, Pearland, and Sugar Land, TX. So, reach out to us for a screening as soon as you notice an irregular spot.

How long does it take skin cancer to appear?

There's no set timeline for skin cancer growth and appearance. While some skin cancer lesions appear suddenly, others grow slowly over time. For example, the crusty, pre-cancerous spots associated with actinic keratoses can take years to develop. Other forms of skin cancer, like melanoma, can appear very suddenly, while at other times, the lesions can vanish and reappear.

Where is skin cancer commonly found on the body?

Skin cancer can appear almost anywhere on the body, including the scalp, neck, ears, chest, arms, hands, legs, under the fingernails, in the mouth, and even on the genitals. It is most commonly found on areas of skin that have been exposed to the sun, but not always. Fortunately, you can get ahead of skin cancer by obtaining annual screenings to check your entire body for abnormal moles and other lesions.

Signs of skin cancer

The specific symptoms can vary based on each individual type of skin cancer. During a skin cancer screening performed in one of our Houston, TX area offices, our dermatologists look for the following types of cancer:

Actinic keratoses (AK): This is a pre-cancerous condition that shows up on the surface of the skin as small, crusty, or scaly lesions that can appear red, pink, or tan. Actinic keratoses often grow over time, and the condition is more common in individuals over 40 years of age.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): As the most common type of skin cancer, a basal cell tumor can look like a shiny, pearl-like bump, and can range from small to large in size. It can appear suddenly, but they can also grow slowly over time. It’s most common in older individuals, especially those who have fair skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Symptoms for this common type of skin cancer include scaly, crusty patches that can feel rough or thick. SCC can appear as a rash, raised growths, or open sores.

Melanoma: As the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma often starts as changes to an existing mole on the surface of the skin. Warning signs include a spot that is dark, irregularly shaped and evolves quickly. In some cases, the lesion can disappear, indicating that it could have spread to other areas of the body.

Get a skin cancer diagnosis in Houston, TX

Early detection of skin cancer is crucial since the disease can spread quickly. The good news is that the condition is very treatable when found early on. At Advanced Dermatology, we provide comprehensive skin cancer screenings to check your full body for moles, lesions, and other areas of concern. If further care is needed, we can provide you with available treatment options to help eradicate your skin cancer. So, if you have noticed the development of a suspicious problem area on your skin, be sure to take it seriously. Call Advanced Dermatology in Katy, Pearland, League City, or Sugar Land, TX for a consultation today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.