There are three main types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, which all present different signs and symptoms:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

  • Waxy-looking skin
  • Red-coloured firm lumps (brownish if you have darker skin tone)
  • Itchy or bleeding skin
  • Skin scabbing
  • Painless ulcers

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

  • Scaly skin
  • Pinkish or reddish-looking skin
  • Feels tender when touched


  • The appearance of dark spots or changes that occurs in an existing mole
  • Itchy or tender feeling, alongside pain
  • The change of the texture in an existing mole
  • Bleeding

Recent Questions

How do you know if a black spot might be skin cancer (photo)?

Hi, any pigmented skin lesion that looks suspicious should be consulted with your doctor. Signs favouring malignancy are: changing in size or shape with time ulcerating uneven color of the lesion bizarre appearance.

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Answered By

Dr Benjamin Yim


What do doctors do to test moles for cancer?

Thank you for the question. If a mole is suspicious or looks irregular, the doctor will do a biopsy and send the mole for histological testing. During the biopsy, the mole is removed surgically under local anaesthesia and the specimen sent for histology. Based on the histology, it can be determined if the mole is cancerous or benign.

Photo of Dr Colin Theng

Answered By

Dr Colin Theng



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