What Are the Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

What Are the Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Many people believe they know what to look for when checking for skin cancer. Often their strategy includes looking at moles and birthmarks for the "ABCDE" test. However, that approach is only helpful in spotting melanoma — other types of skin cancer present differently, including basal cell carcinoma.

Dr. Trevan Fischer, a skilled complex general surgical oncologist, treats a variety of types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, at his private practice in Santa Monica, California. In addition, he keeps his skills and knowledge up-to-date through his role in clinical trials at the Saint John's Cancer Institute.

Skin cancer

There are four main types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomamelanoma, and Merkel cell cancer. Each has unique characteristics, including where it is often located and how fast it grows.

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and accounts for about 8 in 10 skin cancer diagnoses. Typically it is found in places that have received significant sun exposure, such as the head, neck, and the back of the hands, but it can occur anywhere, so it's essential to examine your skin regularly.

Signs of basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma can appear in many ways. These include the following:

Open sore

Any sore that bleeds, oozes, or crusts and lasts for weeks without healing should be checked out. Sometimes basal cell carcinoma can seem to have healed before the sore returns.

Red or irritated area

Any red or irritated patch of skin should be examined. It might itch or hurt, or it could be symptomless. 

Shiny bump

A pink, red, or white bump or nodule that is pink, red or white, pearly, or clear could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma.

Pink growth

Any small pink growth with raised or rolled edges should be examined by our team.

Scar-like area

If a place on the skin looks shiny and taut or there is a scar-like area, it could indicate basal cell carcinoma.

The good news is when detected early most cases of basal cell carcinoma can be fully removed with no complications. If you have noticed a new spot on your skin or if an existing blemish has changed, it's essential to get it checked out immediately. Click to book an appointment or call our friendly office staff today at 310-807-2688 to find out how Dr. Fischer can help.

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