Cancer can develop in all different parts of the body, most commonly in the skin. Skin cancer is a change in your skin cells during which they grow abnormally and form a malignant tumor. Can skin cancer develop on the hands? The answer is yes.
Skin cancer of the hand can be caused by chronic sun exposure, immune suppression, exposure to chemicals or even genetic conditions. The three most common types of skin cancer in the hand include:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): SCC is the most common type of skin cancer in the hand and can sometimes be mistaken for a cut or infection. You may see small, firm nodules on the skin that are brown or tan. The nodules may bleed or start crusting.
- Basal cell carcinoma: With this type of skin cancer, you’ll see nodules that look like sores with a translucent border.
- Melanoma: You may have melanoma if you have a mole- or birthmark-like marking on your hand. Pay special attention if the mark is an irregular shape, has an irregular border, is varied in color, is bigger than 1/4 inch or if it changes.
If you’re seeing signs of skin cancer on your hand (or on any part of your body), see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will inspect your skin and likely perform a biopsy. You may also need a CT scan or PET scan.
Preventing Skin Cancer of the Hand
You can prevent skin cancer of the hand in the same way you would for other parts of your body.
- Protect your hands in the sun! It’s easy to forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your hands when it’s sunny, but this is a big step in protecting yourself from skin cancer.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals such as arsenic.
And don’t forget, see a dermatologist regularly!