What are the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma symptoms can vary, so if you have any signs or symptoms, especially those that may last longer than two weeks, it’s important to get screened. Having signs or symptoms does not necessarily mean you have basal cell carcinoma, but if you are diagnosed with the disease and it is detected early, it is highly treatable and curable.

One of the signs of basal cell carcinoma is a sore that does not heal. The ABCDE rule is a common tool physicians and patients can use to assess physical changes to a bump or lesion’s symmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving appearance. If you notice any change in the appearance of your skin, check with your primary care doctor or dermatologist.

Other basal cell carcinoma signs include:

  • A bump that is raised, smooth, shiny and pearly
  • A mark on the skin that is firm, similar to a scar, and is white, yellow or waxy
  • A bump that is raised and red or reddish-brown
  • A patch of skin that is scaly, bleeding or crusty

Our internationally recognized experts also recommend performing monthly skin self-checks. It’s important to know your skin, and if you notice any unusual changes, talk with your primary care doctor or dermatologist.

How is basal cell carcinoma diagnosed?

At Miami Cancer Institute, our internationally recognized skin cancer specialists work together to provide you with the most advanced screenings and comprehensive diagnostics available today – all in one place.

Our goal is to diagnose and treat skin cancers in the earliest stages when they often can be cured in a comfortable, state-of-the-art outpatient setting.

When you’re screened at The Skin Cancer Clinic, our experts use a variety of personalized tests depending on what’s right for you. This can include:

  • Dermoscopy to get a magnified look at skin lesions and their structures to determine if further evaluation may be necessary  
  • Biopsy to examine tumor tissues to determine the specific kind of cancer present
  • Reflectance Confocal Microscopy (RCM) to create a radiation-free image of the skin lesion that is similar to a microscopic image obtained by a pathologist in a lab
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to capture a 3D image of a skin lesion and its thickness using a light beam that reflects and collects light from the surface to form the image.  

We offer convenient, same-day appointments to design and deliver a personalized, comprehensive care plan for each skin patient.

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