Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but the good news is that it can be cured, especially when it's found early.

Know the warning signs

A yearly exam by a dermatologist is a key part of early detection. Signs of a problem include:

  • An open sore or bump that itches, bleeds, crusts over and then repeats for more than three weeks.
  • A red, irritated patch on the skin.
  • A shiny bump of any color.
  • A pink growth with an elevated border and a crusted indentation in the center or a growth that looks like a wart.
  • A scar-like area where the skin is shiny and tight.
  • Asymmetry, uneven borders, more than one color, large diameter or changes to moles — these are the signs of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

If you notice any change on your skin, make an appointment with your doctor. Treatments are much more effective on cancers that are found early.