The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

I have had a rodent ulcer removed and now have a rash. Is it cancer?

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A rodent ulcer is also known as a basal cell carcinoma and is a non-melanoma skin cancer. But like malignant melanomas that most people have heard of, it too is linked to sun exposure, so prevention is the same, using a strong sun block like factor 50, or better still, covering or shading the skin. It is more common in fair-skinned people and those who burn easily and occurs usually in areas exposed to the sun, like the face, head, neck and ears. It is less concerning than malignant melanoma because it rarely spreads to other parts of the body. It generally grows slowly and its appearance can vary. Sometimes it is a scab that bleeds and won’t heal, or it might be a scaly red flat mark. It can appear as a new lump on the skin, or a rim with a central crater. Small, superficia­l basal cell carcinomas can be treated with a cryotherap­y or curettage but for the most part surgery is necessary. Rashes are not related to the rodent ulcer, but may be the result of sun damage, so if you are concerned see your GP.

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