Q:

How do doctors use pictures of skin cancer tumors to treat the cancer?

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Quick Answer

Doctors do not use pictures of skin cancer tumors to help treat them, unless they are seeking some additional confirmation of recognition. Pictures of skin cancer tumors can help a person realize that they should seek treatment. There are three main types of skin cancers, two of which usually present with their own unique appearance in every case, as noted by WebMD.

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Full Answer

The three main types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma, or BCC; squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC; and melanoma, according to WebMD. The first two types are grouped together and known as nonmelanoma cancers of the skin. BCC commonly presents as a smooth, pearly, raised bump on sun-exposed skin of the shoulders, neck or head. SCC is usually seen as a red, thickened, well-defined bump on sun-exposed skin.

Skin cancers begin as precancerous lesions, which are changes in the skin that can become cancer, states WebMD. These changes should be investigated by a health care provider. Types of skin change include actinic keratosis, which is a patch of brown or red rough, scaly skin, and abnormal moles. Actinic keratosis can become squamous cell carcinoma, while abnormal moles, such as those with fading or notched borders, can develop into melanoma.

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