The ‘invisible’ symptom of skin cancer you might spot when vacuuming your house – and 8 other easy-to-miss signs | The Sun

WHEN you think of skin cancer, scary looking moles probably jump to mind.

But there are other more subtle symptoms that are much easier to brush off.

Getting out of breath doing day-to-day tasks, such as vacuuming, is considered to be a symptom of melanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, is diagnosed 17,500 times a year.

The deadly disease takes the lives of 2,340 people per year, according to Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

It develops on skin that gets too much sun. 

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Survival rates are very high, with 87 per cent of patients living at least 10 years after their diagnosis.

But if left untreated the cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, brain lungs and bones.

Once it reaches the lungs, it can trigger breathlessness, according to cancer charity Macmillan.

Like with any cancer, survival rates are best when the illness is detected fast when it is only affecting the skin.

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That's why it's worth knowing the eight other easy-to-miss signs of skin cancer.

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.

  1. Mole with a mix of colours
  2. Large mole
  3. Mole that changes over time
  4. Swollen mole
  5. Bleeding mole
  6. Itchy mole
  7. Crusty mole
  8. Mole in the shape of a line under a nail

In women, the most common specific location for melanoma skin cancers in the UK is the legs.

Men are more likely to see melanomas in their trunk – the back or torso.

CRUK said rates have tripled in the over-55s since the 1990s, partly because of a fashion for cheap package holidays and tanning that date back to the 60s.

There are also more people coming forward and getting their skin checked, it added.

How can I spot melanoma in other parts of my body?

Symptoms of advanced melanoma depend on where the melanoma has spread to in the body.

Lymph nodes

Your Lymph nodes are small structures that work as filters for foreign substances, such as cancer cells and infections.

When they are infected with cancer they may feel hard and swollen.


  • breathlessness
  • a cough
  • coughing up blood.


  • headaches
  • sickness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • slurred speech


  • discomfort or pain in the liver area – the right side of the tummy, under the ribs
  • sickness


  • back or neck pain, which might feel like a band around your chest or tummy
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness and weakness in the legs
  • problems controlling your bladder or bowels

Digestive system

  • pain in the tummy
  • constipation or diarrhoea for no obvious reason
  • sickness
  • vomiting up blood
  • blood in your poo

Source: Macmillian

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