Some Common Signs And Symptoms Of Skin Cancer


Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that can show up on the skin of a person in many different ways. Also called, BCC, this type of skin cancer usually grows slowly and can be easily mistaken for a pimple, sore, or a harmless scar. Oftentimes, this type of skin cancer can develop on the neck or head and can look like a round, shiny, raised growth. Shared below are a few tips by dermatologists in low income clinics and other free clinics that can help you spot basal cell carcinoma in the early stages. 


Warning Signs Of Basal Cell Carcinoma 

  • A reddish or pink growth dipping in the center. This type of growth can be easily mistaken for an acne scar or a skin injury.
  • A scaly patch or growth of skin near the ear, which can be easily mistaken for a minor injury, dry or scaly skin.
  • A skin sore that does not heal and may crust over, bleed or ooze. The sore may also heal and return. This type of sore can be mistaken for a pimple or a normal skin sore.
  • A scaly and raised patch of skin that can be irritated, pink, or red. This type of patch can be mistaken for irritated skin.
  • A round growth that can be red, black, pink, brown tan, or skin-colored which can be mistaken for a wart, or other harmless skin growth.
  • A scaly spot on the skin that can be mistaken for a freckle or age spots.
  • A white, skin-colored, or yellow scar-like mark on the skin surface that is waxy. The skin surrounding the mark can feel tight and the affected skin can look shiny and waxy. This type of scar can be mistaken for a normal scar.


Where Can BCC Develop? 

Usually, BCC develops on skin that is exposed to the sun such as the ears or the face. In addition, it can develop on the hands and bald scalp. Other common areas where basal cell carcinoma can develop include the arms, shoulders, back, and legs. In some rare cases, BCC may also develop on body parts that get little to no sun exposure, like the genitals.


We hope that you have got a better understanding of this medical condition as well as its symptoms. If you find any of these signs on your skin, you need to visit a board-certified dermatologist.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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