SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Basal cell carcinoma|
Basal cell carcinomas usually develop on sun-exposed parts of your body, especially your head and neck. A much smaller number occur on the trunk and legs. Yet basal cell carcinomas can also occur on parts of your body that are rarely exposed to sunlight.
Although a general warning sign of skin cancer is a sore that won't heal or that repeatedly bleeds and scabs over, basal cell cancer may look like:
- A pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels on your face, ears or neck. The bump may bleed, develop a crust or form a depression in the center. In darker skinned people, this type of cancer is usually brown or black.
- A flat, scaly, brown or flesh-colored patch on your back or chest. Over time, these patches can grow quite large.
- More rarely, a white, waxy scar. This type of basal cell carcinoma is easy to overlook, but it may be a sign of a particularly invasive and disfiguring cancer called morpheaform basal cell carcinoma.
When to see a doctor
Some basal cell carcinomas may be difficult to distinguish from ordinary sores. See your dermatologist if you have:
- A skin sore that bleeds easily or doesn't heal in about two weeks
- A sore that repeatedly crusts or oozes
- Visible blood vessels in or around a sore
- A scar in an area where you haven't injured yourself
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