Signs of skin cancer

Basal cell carcinoma (general skin cancer) can occur throughout the body, but 80% is located in the head/neck region. Generally, most often there is a wound that develops over a longer period without healing, or a growing tumor (knob, element) that bleeds or oozes fluid. A typical basal cell carcinoma is easy to recognize by a trained clinician/doctor, but at times skin cancer can be confused with a benign skin disease.

Most commonly, it is a so called nodular basal cell carcinoma, which is typically seen in the face, and characterized by a pearly knob/change, eventually with a wound formation. Another common form is the superficial basal skin cell carcinoma, that is seen as red, scaly changes, most often located on the body or upper arm. This form of skin cancer can be confused with psoriasis or eczema spots. More common forms of basal cell carcinoma are the infiltrative types. They have a more aggressive growth pattern and risks for recidivism/recurrence of this type is larger. This is seen as scar tissue like changes, where the skin cancer can be difficult to limit from the surrounding healthy tissue.

What should you watch for?

  • Wound on the skin, that doesn’t heal (especially in the face)

  • Red, scaly changes that do not disappear

Examples of basal cell carcinomas

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