Basal cell carcinoma: Signs and symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma: Signs and symptoms

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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) shows up on the skin in different ways. That’s because there are different types of this skin cancer. If you see any of the following on your skin, you should immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist:
  • Dome-shaped skin growth with visible blood vessels. Often pink or skin-colored. Can also be brown or black or have flecks of these colors in the growth. Grows slowly. May flatten in the center, ooze, and crust over. Tends to bleed easily.
  • Shiny pink or red, slightly scaly patch, especially when appears on the trunk. It grows slowly and may be mistaken for a patch of eczema.
  • Waxy feeling, hard, pale-white to yellow or skin-colored growth that looks like a scar. Can be difficult to see the edges.
BCCs may look like a sore that:
  • Bleeds easily.
  • Won’t heal, or heals and returns.
  • Oozes or crusts over.
  • Has a sunken center, like a crater.
  • Has visible blood vessels in or around it.
Although rare, BCC can feel painful or itch. Usually, the only sign of BCC is a growth on the skin.

Learn more about basal cell carcinoma:


References:

Carucci JA, Leffell DJ. ”Basal Cell Carcinoma” In: Wolff K et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th edition. USA. McGraw Hill Medical; 2008, p. 1036-42.

Habif TP, Campbell JL, Chapman JGH [et al]. “Basal cell carcinoma,” In: Dermatology DDxDeck. China; 2006.

Images 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

Image 2 used with permission of
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;55:747.
 

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