Basal cell carcinomas (or BCCs) are the most common form of skin cancer and something that we see on a daily basis in our clinic. They usually present as a little pimple or sore that doesn’t seem to go away or a persistent scaly spot. We see a lot on the nose, but others areas of the face are commonly affected—as are the ears, neck and scalp. I have been seeing a lot on women’s chests lately (remember those days of frying our chests?). Men’s backs are also a common area. These skin cancers are not life threatening and most can be treated easily in the clinic but it’s important to catch them early. If let go, they can become locally aggressive or could very rarely spread to other parts of the body. Sun protection is the best way to prevent them.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has outlined the five warning signs of basal cell carcinomas:
- An open sore that bleeds, oozes, or crusts and remains open for a few weeks, only to heal up and then bleed again. A persistent, non-healing sore is a very common sign of an early BCC.
- A reddish patch or irritated area, frequently occurring on the face, chest, shoulders, arms, or legs. Sometimes the patch crusts, and it may also itch. At other times, it persists with no noticeable discomfort.
- A shiny bump or nodule that is pearly or translucent and is often pink, red, or white. The bump can also be tan, black, or brown, especially in dark-haired people, and can be confused with a mole.
- A pink growth with a slightly elevated rolled border and a crusted indentation in the center. As the growth slowly enlarges, tiny blood vessels may develop on the surface.
- A scar-like area that is white, yellow or waxy, and often has poorly defined borders; the skin itself appears shiny and taut. This warning sign may indicate the presence of an invasive BCC that is larger than it appears to be on the surface.
Come in today and get that spot checked!
Give us a call at 310.546.1188 or request an appointment online.