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Difference Between BCC, SSC & Melanoma Skin Cancer

There are many different bumps, moles, and marks that could develop on the skin and it is important to be able to differentiate between a dangerous sign and an innocuous freckle. Look through the following pictures warning signs that indicate certain marks on your body. With any suspicious marks, you should visit your dermatologist for a full-body exam or Mohs micrographic surgery.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma: As the most common type of cancer found in the United States, BCC should be easy to recognize. It slowly metastasizes, which means grows into cancer, but the mere presence of BCC is cause for worry and should be examined. Generally, BCC growths look like pink or pearly white lesions or sores that easily bleed. It could appear dome-shaped, flat, or look scar-like.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This form of skin cancer is the second most common form in the US.  Like Basal Cell Carcinoma, when SCC is spotted and treated early, it is highly curable. The good news is that when SCC is spotted and treated early, it is highly curable. When SCC develops, it looks like a superficial, dark red growth and is hard to touch. As it gets larger, it will become dome-shaped and may ulcerate and bleed.  There may be a white-yellow scale on top of the lesion. When this scale is removed, there is a space filled with dead cells that causes a bad smell.


Melanoma: Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, the fifth most common cancer in men, and the seventh-most common cancer in women. The most important factor for developing melanoma is sun exposure. People who have had more sun exposure, including tanning beds, are at increased risk. Other risk factors include having atypical nevi, otherwise known as a mole, a large number of atypical nevi, and having blond or red hair, many freckles, or light eye color

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

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