Basal Cell Carcinoma Denver

Five signs of basal cell carcinoma in South Denver-Englewood and Lone Tree

Skin cancer is an unfortunately common condition, caused by rampant development of abnormal skin cells. It begins with mutated (damaged) DNA, usually associated with UV exposure. There are several types of skin cancer, with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) being the most common.

Basal cells are an important part of your skin, lining the epidermis (outer skin layer). Basal cell carcinoma is a cancerous growth developing in these cells. It is rarely life threatening, because it usually does not spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body and organs. However, without treatment they continue to grow in size, destroying healthy skin tissue. Advanced basal cell carcinoma can be quite disfiguring.

We all develop the occasional mysterious lump, bump, or spot. It might be as minor as a harmless insect bite, or as serious as cancer. How do you know when it’s time to see a doctor? Here are the top five symptoms of basal cell carcinoma. A lesion may display one or several of these characteristics.

  1. Recurring sore. It might bleed, ooze, or crust over, often staying open for several weeks. It may appear to heal, only to open up again, and begin bleeding.
  2. Irritated or red patch. In some cases, it may crust over or itch; in other cases, it does not cause discomfort. This is most common on the arms, legs, chest, shoulders, and face.
  3. Shiny nodule (lump). This may look like a shiny mole. It is usually white, red, or pink, but it can also appear black, brown, or tan. The nodule is typically translucent or pearly looking.
  4. Pinkish growth. The growth usually has raised edges that appear to be rolled, and an indentation in the center. You may notice crusting in this indentation, and as the tumor grows, fine blood vessels can develop on the surface.
  5. Scar-like patch. The skin may look as though it is stretched too tight, causing a waxy or shiny area without clear borders. This may be a sign of an invasive tumor, which is actually larger than it looks at the surface.

When in doubt, follow the wisdom of the old idiom, “better safe than sorry.” In other words, if something is concerning you, have it checked. Call 303.756.(7546) (South Denver-Englewood), or 303.799.(4260) (Lone Tree), and schedule an appointment at AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, PC, today.