Skin cancers can be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, but is skin cancer itchy? A rash that itches could be cancer, but itching could also result from other conditions, including dry skin, eczema, or contact dermatitis. In other words, the questions “Can skin cancer itch?” and “Does skin cancer itch?” have different answers: “Yes” and “Not always”, respectively.
Know the Signs: Is Your Itch Related to Skin Cancer?
If your itch is related to skin cancer, it is most likely tied to one of two common types: basal cell skin cancer or squamous cell skin cancer. It’s important to note that the skin cancers that do cause itching can usually be detected long before this symptom starts to appear.
Many skin cancers do not cause any pain or discomfort until they have grown quite large, but if your itch is accompanied by any of the following signs or symptoms, you should seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist:
- New skin growths or lesions
- Rough or scaly patches of skin
- Firm pale or yellow growths that look like scars
- Translucent pearly bumps, often pink or red, especially if they include blue or black areas
- Pink growths with raised edges and depressed centers
- Open sores that continue to bleed, or heal and return
Although you should also see your doctor if you notice that a mole has grown larger, become asymmetrical, or changed in color, these signs are related to melanoma—a dangerous type of skin cancer which is nonetheless less likely to be accompanied by itching.
Itches are most commonly caused by dry skin, which shouldn’t be a major cause for alarm on its own. If you’ve tried to treat your itch with moisturizers and other home remedies, but it remains extremely bothersome or persists for more than a few days, it’s a good idea to seek professional help—even if you don’t believe that it’s tied to skin cancer.
For Basal and Squamous CellSkin Cancers, Consider Image-Guided SRT
If your dermatologist makes a diagnosis of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, ask them if Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy (Image-Guided SRT) is right for you. Learn more about how it works today.