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Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. If detected early, before it spreads, Massachusetts patients will find that it is much easier to treat. Here are five common signs of skin cancer.

Its color

The color of a spot is not uniform. While it may be brown or black, the spot could have flecks of blue, white or pink in it.

It is asymmetrical

It is oddly shaped, not a perfect circle or oval. It is blotchier than a typical mole or freckle.

It has a border

The spot in question has a noticeable border. This border is generally a different color, like an outline of a shape, but is irregular, blurred or notched.

Its size

Most often, skin cancer is at least the size of a pencil eraser, or 1/4 inch. Some melanomas might be smaller than this, however.

It appears to be evolving

The mole or freckle appears to be growing, changing its shape or color. Regular checks can help spot minor changes.

Perform monthly self-exams

Doctors recommend that everyone perform a monthly self-exam for skin cancer. Stand naked in front of a mirror and look for any unusual spots. You can use a hand-held mirror to check out the hard-to-see areas.

Not all skin cancers look the same. If you have any new or unusual spots on your skin that give you cause for concern, or if you have a spot that appears to be skin cancer you should see a physician immediately. If necessary, they will refer you to a dermatologist, or you could start with a dermatologist.

If your family doctor or dermatologist misdiagnosed your skin cancer, you might have a valid medical malpractice claim. An attorney may be able to help get you the compensation you deserve.