Are skin cancer spots painful? In short, sometimes. Painful or itchy spots can be an indication of skin cancer, but skin cancer lesions are not always painful. What’s important is recognizing the other warning signs of skin cancer so that you can identify a cancerous or pre-cancerous growth should one appear on your skin.
Skin cancer comes in many different shapes and forms depending on the type, progression and the individual. Despite the differences, there are some common warning signs that indicate if a mole or growth may be cancerous. Below we go over what you should watch out for and share some images of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, to help you better identify it before it has a chance to spread.
Basal cell carcinoma forms in the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. There is some debate about from which cells the cancer originates, but recent research points to epidermal stem cells as the culprit. The cancer was named after basal cells located in the lower part of the epidermis as the cancer cells look like basal cells under a microscope.
Doctors use several methods to diagnose melanoma. Before a biopsy or a physical exam, they will typically ask about your symptoms. They might ask you when your mole or growth first appeared, if it is bleeding, oozing, crusting or painful, or if it has evolved or changed over time. Then they will usually examine your mole and check your body for any other suspicious moles or growths. They may also feel your lymph nodes in your neck, underarms, or groin to see if they are enlarged as this is the next place melanoma spreads.