When the black skin cancer is white

31. July 2018

Again and again, the question arises, how to recognise a skin cancer in oneself. In order to immediately come straight to the point, there is no secure, easily recognisable feature for the layman, nor for the trained specialist.

Commonly known are the images of black skin cancer (melanoma) which is just black, grows and finally bleeds. Sometimes, however, the “black” skin cancer is white, does not grow visibly and even itches! Or the “wart”, which is actually a melanoma, does something that cancer never does. It suddenly becomes smaller because our immune system attacks the tumor, unfortunately only with partial success.

The slightly less dangerous, so-called bright skin cancer, usually arises at skin sites that are exposed in the course of life much sunlight. But that does not mean that this cancer can not also occur on the buttocks; a place that probably rarely sees sun.

White skin cancer typically looks like a slow-growing, bright nodule. But it can also grow quickly, be red and itch like a mosquito bite. Today, digital reflected light microscopy and state-of-the-art software programs are trying to bring light into the diagnostic jungle. Nevertheless, the clinical experience of the specialist continues to be irreplaceable.

A person skilled in the art will, at the slightest suspicion, take a sample and send it in for tissue analysis in order ultimately to obtain 100% certainty.

Despite or even because of the problems described, everyone should continue to observe his/her entire skin organ themselves. Even if there are some changes that may have unknown recognition features for skin cancer, it is advisable to consult an experienced expert.



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