One of the most common questions I get from my patients are how can I spot a skin cancer? What are the signs and symptoms I should be looking for? It's a very difficult question to answer, because it depends on the type. Melanoma forms from the melanocytes, the pigment making cells. So when you're trying to spot a melanoma you should be looking for color.
A changing color is the number one risk factor. The brown turning to black, black turning to red, red turning to white are dangerous symptoms of melanoma and needs evaluation. Non-melanoma skin cancers often pop in on sun exposed areas, so it's important to examine those areas, like your nose, your ears, your face.
If you see a spot that has blood vessels on it, a spot that's bleeding spontaneously, or a spot that has rough skin there is a chance that it could be a basal cell or a squamous cell carcinoma. A simple biopsy done by a dermatologist can give you a definitive diagnosis. Then you can discuss your treatment options with your regular doctor.