Can you have skin cancer for years without knowing?

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What happens if skin cancer goes undetected?

Leaving Basal Cell Carcinoma Untreated

While death is a rare consequence there is the potential for disfigurement. Over time basal cell carcinoma can expand and cause ulcers and damage the skin and tissues. Any damage could be permanent and have an impact on the way you look.

How long can you have skin cancer without knowing it?

For example, certain types of skin cancer can be diagnosed initially just by visual inspection — though a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. But other cancers can form and grow undetected for 10 years or more , as one study found, making diagnosis and treatment that much more difficult.

Do you feel sick if you have skin cancer?

They don’t feel ill. The only difference they notice is the suspicious-looking spot. That spot doesn’t have to itch, bleed, or feel painful. Although, skin cancer sometimes does.

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How long does skin cancer take to show symptoms?

How long does it take skin cancer to appear? There’s no set timeline for skin cancer growth and appearance. While some skin cancer lesions appear suddenly, others grow slowly over time. For example, the crusty, pre-cancerous spots associated with actinic keratoses can take years to develop.

What happens to your body when you have skin cancer?

Skin cancer usually appears as a growth that changes in color, shape, or size. This can be a sore that does not heal or a change in a mole or skin growth. These changes usually happen in areas that get the most sun—your head, neck, back, chest, or shoulders. The most common place for skin cancer is your nose.

How long can you live with skin cancer untreated?

Almost everyone (almost 100%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 80 out of 100 people (80%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

What are the 7 warning signs of cancer?

These are potential cancer symptoms:

  • Change in bowel or bladder habits.
  • A sore that does not heal.
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge.
  • Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere.
  • Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
  • Obvious change in a wart or mole.
  • Nagging cough or hoarseness.

How can you tell if a spot is cancerous?

Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.

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How do you feel when you have skin cancer?

Any unusual sore, lump, blemish, marking, or change in the way an area of the skin looks or feels may be a sign of skin cancer or a warning that it might occur. The area might become red, swollen, scaly, crusty or begin oozing or bleeding. It may feel itchy, tender, or painful.

What are 3 warning signs of cancer?

Warning Signs of Cancer

  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Night sweats.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • New, persistent pain.
  • Recurrent nausea or vomiting.
  • Blood in urine.
  • Blood in stool (either visible or detectable by special tests)

What does cancer itch feel like?

In addition, itching associated with cancer tends to feel the worst on the lower legs and chest and may be associated with a burning sensation.

What does skin cancer look like in the beginning?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Early Stages

At first, cancer cells appear as flat patches in the skin, often with a rough, scaly, reddish, or brown surface. These abnormal cells slowly grow in sun-exposed areas.

Can skin cancer just appear overnight?

Melanomas may appear suddenly and without warning. They are found most frequently on the face and neck, upper back and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

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Can skin cancer go away by itself?

Melanoma can go away on its own. Melanoma on the skin can spontaneously regress, or begin to, without any treatment. That’s because the body’s immune system is able launch an assault on the disease that’s strong enough to spur its retreat.