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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Skin Cancer: Types: Basal Cell Carcinoma: Signs & Symptoms

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Signs & Symptoms

Signs & Symptoms of Basal Cell Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma is seen most often on the head and neck, but can affect any area.

The typical signs of BCC are:

  • An open sore that has not healed in three weeks and is oozing, bleeding or crusting.
  • A irritated patch of skin, especially on the face, neck, chest, arms, or legs.
  • Any new, smooth skin nodule (bump) with a raised border and indented center. Or a smooth, shiny, or pearly bump that looks like a mole or cyst.
  • A scar especially on the face, with a shiny look of tight-looking skin, and poorly defined edges.
  • Occasional BCCs can be pigmented (dark), particularly in darker-skinned individuals. In these cases, the tumors manifest the same signs of a non-pigmented variant, except they are brown instead of pink.
  • A fairly common BCC variant is superficial BCC. It rarely invades and is typically confined to the epidermis. It is seen on the trunk and extremities and appears as a red, scaly plaque, with crusting. Because of its similarity in appearance and slow growth, to that of eczema or psoriasis, it becomes difficult to diagnose.
  • A form of BCC known as morpheaform or sclerosing BCC causes a more aggressive lesion. It looks whitish, without a defined edge, and is firm to the touch. It may look like a scar and can blend in fairly well with the surrounding skin, thus escaping detection for years, while continuing to spread. When these tumors are removed, they are surprisingly larger than expected.

Basal Cell Cancer

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