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Skin cancer symptoms

Because many skin cancers develop where they can be seen, there is a good chance of catching them early. Regular examination of the skin for any new or unusual growths, or changes in existing moles is critical. If you find anything suspicious, you should discuss it with your primary care physician, a dermatologist (skin doctor) or a health care professional who is qualified to recognize the signs of skin cancer and diagnose the disease.

cancer symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma symptoms

Basal cell carcinomas are usually the easiest form of skin cancer to treat, and also the least likely to spread. Although basal cell carcinomas are rarely fatal, they can cause extensive damage to the tissue and bone surrounding the disease if they are not treated.

Regular examination of the skin for any new or unusual growths, or changes in the size, shape or color of an existing spot, is key to finding and treating these cancers early. If you exhibit symptoms of basal cell carcinoma, or anything suspicious, you should discuss it with your primary care physician or a dermatologist (skin doctor).

General warning signs of skin cancer include a new spot or growth that increases in size, or a sore that doesn’t heal within two months. In addition, signs of basal cell carcinoma may include one or more of the following:

  • A growth that is flat, firm, and pale or small, pink or red or one that has a translucent, shiny or waxy appearance.
  • Bleeding easily, possibly with oozing or crusting areas. One or more abnormal blood vessels may also be visible.
  • A depression in the center.
  • Blue, brown or black patches.

Basal cell carcinomas may also develop as a flat area that does not look much different from normal skin. These cancers are most frequently found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head and neck, but they can also be found on the trunk, arms and legs. A small percentage are found in other places on the body, so it is important to examine all areas of the body for basal cell carcinoma symptoms.

If you see any spots or growths with these features, or anything else unusual, it is important to discuss what you found with your doctor. The earlier skin cancers are found, the easier they are to treat and the better the prognosis.

Understanding cancer symptoms

These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer. If you notice any cancer signs or symptoms, it's important to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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