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Doctor insights on: Benign Vs Malignant Skin Cancer

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Can I trust skin cancer apps, like skinvision to find out if a mole is benign or malignant?

Can I trust skin cancer apps, like skinvision to find out if a mole is benign or malignant?

Minimally: While skin cancer apps are getting more reliable, they are not yet sophisticated enough to replace an exam by a dermatologist with a dermatoscope and they certainly cannot replace the diagnostic accuracy of a biopsy. While consulting an app may be helpful, seeing a specialist is best to resolve your concerns. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,317 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Is a seborrheic keratosis is a malignant skin cancer tumor or benign?

Benign: Sk's are easily confused for skin cancers due to their large size, irregular shape, and being multicolored. A trained dermatologist can easily spot the difference but very confusing for patients and other doctors. People can have hundreds or even thousands of sk's on their body and they are all benign. But having these cover the body may make it difficult to monitor for skin cancers. ...Read more

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Are acrochordons a malignant tumor or skin cancer?

Are acrochordons a malignant tumor or skin cancer?

Neither: Acrochordons are a fancy name for skin tags, which are benign (not cancerous) growths that tend to occur as we age. They can often be found on the neck, armpits, and groin-- pretty much anywhere where the skin tends to rub. No one knows what causes them, but they are definitely not dangerous. Many things can look like skin tags though, so best to see your dermatologist to check them out. ...Read more

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Is seborrheic keratosis a malignant skin cancer tumor?

Is seborrheic keratosis a malignant skin cancer tumor?

No: Sk's are nonmalignant tumors, nor are they premalignant. They often grow on sun damaged skin, so they often show up in the same areas which are at risk for skin cancers. Sk's require no treatment. See a md for eval & diagnosis. ...Read more

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Was diaghnosed with benign skin cancer-something to worry about?

Was diaghnosed with benign skin cancer-something to worry about?

No such thing: Cancer by definition can't be benign but the most common skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell) have a very indolent behavior and are easily cured with surgery so that's probably what you have. Alternatively, you may have a benign skin tumor (not cancer). Either way, your chances of cure are excellent. Best to you. ...Read more

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Im 19 years old and just had a nevus dysplasia biopsy result. follow up in 2 weeks. Though benign, what is my future outlook like with skin cancer?

Im 19 years old and just had a nevus dysplasia biopsy result. follow up in 2 weeks. Though benign, what is my future outlook like with skin cancer?

Dysplastic Nevus: Once removed the threat of transformation of this potentially PRE-malignant skin lesion to cancer is eliminated. Annual total body skin exams are the best means of early detection and reduced skin cancer threat. ...Read more

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Red/purple blemish on sole of mother's foot, (48 yrs) About 7mm not painful or itchy, no history of skin cancer what benign condition could cause this?

Red/purple blemish on sole of mother's foot, (48 yrs) About 7mm not painful or itchy, no history of skin cancer what benign condition could cause this?

Depends: A photo would be helpful... this description could be a number of things and it is difficult to say without seeing it. Common benign lesions on the bottom of the foot are warts, calluses, clogged sweat glands, foreign bodies, abscess, moles and blisters. ...Read more

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Do you recommend daily baby aspirin for colon and/or preventive for skin cancer issues if I'm 66, no heart issues, recent benign colon polyp? Thanks!

Do you recommend daily baby aspirin for colon and/or preventive for skin cancer issues if I'm 66, no heart issues, recent benign colon polyp?  Thanks!

No need : This is unlikely to help, but probably won't hurt. Use your judgment, and dis is with your primary care provider that you have a relationship with. There could be other reasons to do this as well. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Does skin cancer itch?

It can: Certain skin cancers, basal cell can instill an inflammatory respond in the surrounding skin which can "itch." best to see a doctor if you have a questions. ...Read more

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How does skin cancer grow?

Local growth mostly: Mostly skin cancers (like all cancers) grow locally, spreading both side to side as well as down. For melanomas in particular, deep growth is more dangerous. Cancers also can jump (or metastasize) via lymphatic vessels or blood vessels. This can lead to spread to local lymph nodes or distant sites like the lungs, liver, brain, etc. ...Read more

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How do you get skin cancer?

How do you get skin cancer?

Sun damage: The most important risk factor is sun exposure, and the damage that comes from that . Other things can contribute including your genetics and family history. Wearing appropriate clothing and use of sunblock is the most important thing you can do to help skin cancer. ...Read more

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How does skin cancer begin?

How does skin cancer begin?

Sun damage: With rare exception, most skin cancers are caused by sun damage. Any new skin bump which is new, enlarging, and changing is concerning. The older you are, and the more sun exposure you have had, the higher the risk of skin cancer. Melanomas risk is remembered as abcd: asymmetry, irregular borders, irregular coloration, diameter >6mm. If in doubt, have it check out by your doctor. ...Read more

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How do you treat skin cancer?

Surgery: Skin cancers is usually treated by surgical excision. This allows you to assess that the margins are clear and will allow you to stage the tumor appropriately. Occasionally, in poor surgical candidates, non-surgical modalities may be employed. ...Read more

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Can skin cancer be transmitted?

Can skin cancer be transmitted?

Not possible: Skin cancer is not contagious and can not be transmitted from one person to another. ...Read more

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What might skin cancer look like?

Growing sore: Skin cancer often begins as a small bump that looks like a “pimple that doesn’t go away”. It gradually enlarges, and sometimes bleeds. The cancer may appear red, pearly, scaly, flesh-colored, or darker than the surrounding skin. If you have a growing spot that doesn't heal, you should see your dermatologist. ...Read more

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How can a person get skin cancer?

Sun damage and Genes: There can be a family component to many cancers including skin cancers. This should not be taken lightly. Sun exposure is another large risk factor for skin cancer. The two together can be very dangerous. If you have a strong family history, lots of sun exposure, or any enlarging skin lesions, be evaluated by your local doctor and/or dermatologist. ...Read more

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Can my boyfriend have skin cancer?

Sure: Anybody with skin can. Tell him to have any abnormal lesion checked. ...Read more

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What should I do about skin cancer?

What should I do about skin cancer?

Have it removed: Depending on the size, type and location of the skin cancer, there are some options for treatments. Smaller, more superficial tumors can be removed with liquid nitrogen or medicines. Deeper or more aggressive tumors require surgery. Sometimes radiation is an option, but this is relatively rare. See your pcp or dermatologist to properly diagnose and recommend treatment. ...Read more

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Could skin cancer appear overnight?

Could skin cancer appear overnight?

No: Skin cancers do not develop that quickly, however sometimes trauma to an area or bleeding can draw attention to a previously unnoticed lesion. If any question, have your pcm or a dermatologist check it out! ...Read more

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How is skin cancer usually diagnosed?

By a dermatologist: Spots that don't heal, bleeds, or grows rapidly may be signs of skin cancer. The best way to diagnose a skin cancer is to see your dermatologist. He or she will examine the spot and determine if a skin biopsy is necessary. Most of the time, a dermatologist can tell by looking at a spot if it is cancer or not. ...Read more

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Malignant (Definition)

The term malignant can be used in several medical contexts, but is primarily used to describe cancers. More dangerous and disorderly than the benign growth of cells, malignant cells have developed genetic changes that can allow it to invade other tissues in an unregulated way. These tumors can later spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body and ...Read more


Dr. Mike Bowman
952 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more