Skin Cancer

What Are Signs Of Skin Cancer In Prescott, AZ?

Know what to look for when it comes to the early signs of skin cancer.

In many cases, skin cancer develops on areas of the face and body that are most exposed to the sun; therefore, it can be fairly easy to spot worrisome changes to a mole or growth. By turning to a dermatologist once a year for regular skin cancer screenings, and by performing your own comprehensive at-home exams, you can catch skin cancer early on when it’s highly treatable. 

skin cancer screening in Prescott, AZ

There are several kinds of skin cancer. Melanoma is one of the most common and the most dangerous. Of course, there are also common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Here are the warning signs for each:

Basal Cell Carcinoma

It’s common for basal cell carcinomas to develop on areas of the body most exposed to the sun such as the face and neck. A basal cell carcinoma may appear as,

  • A waxy, white bump
  • A scar-like growth that may be yellow, white or even brown in color
  • A bump or growth that bleeds, crusts, oozes and doesn’t heal

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Like basal cell carcinomas, this type of non-melanoma skin cancer is also most likely to develop on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the neck, back, face and ears. Warning signs of a squamous cell carcinoma include,

  • Red patches or open sores
  • Raised, wart-like bumps with a depression in the center
  • A growth, sore or open wound that itches or bleeds


Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer that can develop anywhere on the body; however, it is most often found on the face. Those with fairer skin tones are more at risk for developing melanoma. Warning signs of melanoma include,

  • A very large mole (larger than a pencil eraser)
  • A mole that changes in shape, color or size
  • A growth that has irregular or poorly defined borders
  • A painful sore or bump that itches, crusts and bleeds

Any changes to a preexisting mole, or the development of new moles, may warrant a trip to the dermatologist’s office.

The Importance of Skin Cancer Screenings

Did you know that everyone, regardless of risk, should be getting a skin cancer screening from a qualified dermatologist? These annual screenings allow our team to monitor any changes in moles that could be signs of cancer. We can also biopsy tissue that looks suspicious and catch skin cancer early through these evaluations. Screenings only take a few minutes but could save your life.

What to Look for

Between these annual screenings, you should also be checking your skin every month to look for any changes in moles, from new moles that you’ve never seen before to moles that might be changing shape, color or size. Our team should also evaluate moles that bleed, crust or are painful.

Everyone should undergo a skin cancer screening even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. It’s particularly important that you come in for routine screenings if you have any risk factors for skin cancer:

  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Past sunburns
  • The use of tanning beds
  • Not wearing sunscreen regularly
  • Fair skin
  • Having many moles
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • A weakened immune system

If you have any of these risk factors it’s important that you not only share them with your dermatologist during your next visit but that you also find out how often you should be coming in for routine screenings, as patients with risk factors may need to come in more regularly. Of course, if you are noticing any new moles or changes in preexisting moles you should also schedule a screening with us right away.

When was the last time you got a skin cancer screening? This simple, non-invasive exam could just save your life. Schedule your screening today at Sunwest Dermatology & Skin Cancer Treatment Center in Prescott, AZ. Call  (928) 445-7546.

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