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Basal cell carcinoma symptoms often include a skin blemish that initially appears to be harmless but doesn’t heal as expected. This common type of skin cancer tends to be localized and slow-growing, and it rarely spreads. When detected and treated early, basal cell carcinoma is highly curable. Therefore, it is important to regularly examine your skin. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you should promptly bring it to the attention of a physician who can evaluate your skin and help you determine the most appropriate next steps.

What does basal cell carcinoma look like?

The two most common signs of skin cancer are a new skin growth and a sore that doesn’t heal within approximately two months. More specifically, basal cell carcinoma can produce the following symptoms:

  • A pearly skin "bump" that has a shiny or translucent appearance
  • A small, flat and firm skin growth that is pink, red, blue, brown or black in color
  • A waxy, white skin patch that resembles a scar
  • A dome-shaped skin lesion with a depression in the center
  • An elevated skin growth that has visible blood vessels
  • A blemish that bleeds easily, crusts over and seems to be healing, but then reappears and breaks down in a continual cycle

Basal cell carcinoma symptoms are often found in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun (or other sources of ultraviolet light), such as the head, ears, neck, shoulders, arms, legs and backs of the hands. However, it is also possible for this type of skin cancer to develop in parts of the body that are usually covered, such as the genitals and bottoms of the feet. In addition to protecting your skin from sun exposure, one of the best preventive measures is to perform a full-body skin check on a regular basis.

If you would like to have your basal cell carcinoma symptoms evaluated by an experienced oncologist in the Cutaneous Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, you are welcome to contact us – whether or not you have a referral. Request an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online.