Skin Cancer Quiz: Can you Spot the bad Mole?
We’re here to help you understand cancerous moles and how to spot them. Take our quiz on the most common forms of skin cancer: Malignant Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma. See how you get on and then read below for more information on how to spot them and the best course of action if you notice something you’re unsure about!
Tips On How To Spot A Cancerous Mole
Spotting skin cancer early can be the deciding factor. If too late then a severe case could lead to death whereas spotting it early can mean walking away without any negative affects on your health. This is why spotting skin cancer early is so important. If you found your quiz score to be on the low side, read up below on the 3 most common forms of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers and affects over 44,000 Americans every year. It starts in the ‘melanocytes’ which are the skin cells responsible for the dark protective pigment known as melanin. It is melanin that makes your skin tan. Fortunately it is almost always curable when found early. You can read more about malignant melanoma here.
Usually Melanoma appears suddenly and without warning. It is typically defined by these key factors helpfully organised in the ABCDE method:
- Asymmetry: The mole has an irregular shape.
- Border: The edge is not smooth, but irregular or notched.
- Color: The mole has uneven shading or dark spots.
- Diameter: The spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving or Elevation: The spot is changing in size, shape or texture.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer affecting approximately 800,000 Americans every year. The cancer starts in the basal cells, which are found at the bottom of the epidermis (outer skin layer). Learn more about basal cell carcinoma here.
Basal Cell Carcinoma appears most frequently on exposed parts of the body such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders and back. Here are some of the key appearance factors to look out for:
- Small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin
- Flesh coloured mole or ‘pearly’ bump that doesn’t go away
- Skin growth in a dome shape with blood vessels inside
- Can look dark
- Bleed Easily
- Sometimes you may see pink or red patches, slightly scaly
- Occasionally waxy and hard skin growth
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer and more than 250,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the United States. This cancer is a tumor that occurs in the outer layer of the skin (the epeithelium). Think of Basal effecting the inner layer and Squamous affecting the outer layer. Learn more about squamous cell carcinoma here.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma can spread to other areas of the body if not treated in time – this is unlike basal cell carcinoma. It often arises from small, sandpaper-like growths called actinic keratoses. Here’s what to look out for:
- Can occur anywhere on the body, even on the lips and inside of mouth
- May appear as nodules or red, scaly patches of skin
- Usually a bump or red, scaly patch
- Typically found on the rim of the ear, the face, the lips and the mouth
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.