Skin Cancer and Medicare FAQs
What are the signs of Melanoma?
Melanoma can appear on any part of your body, including your eyes and internal organs. You can use the ABCDE memory aid for warning signs of melanoma on your skin.
Asymmetry: a shape where one half does not match the other half
Border: a place where the edges are not smooth
Color: skin color is uneven and may have shades of brown, black, gray, red, or white
Diameter: the area is larger than the tip of a pencil eraser (6mm)
Evolving: a spot is new or changes in size, shape, or color
What Does Basal Cell Look Like?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) often appears in areas exposed to the sun – for example, your
head/face and neck. BCC can look different from person to person and may look like the
An open sore that does not heal
A shiny bump
A scar-like area that is flat white, yellow or waxy in color
A small pink growth with slightly raised, rolled edge and a crusted indentation in the center
What Does Squamous Cell Carcinoma Look Like?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) may look different from one person to another. I can look like the following:
A scaly red patch with irregular borders
An elevated growth with a central depression
An open sore that persists for weeks
A wart-like growth
SCC legions may crust over, itch or bleed. They commonly appear in sun-exposed areas of your skin.
Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Biopsies?
Medicare Part B does cover skin cancer biopsies when your doctor orders this diagnostic test. To diagnose skin cancer, a doctor removes (biopsies) the tissue and sends it to the lab. If they find cancer cells, your biopsy report will tell you what type of skin cancer you have.
When to See a Dermatologist?
Whenever you see skin changes that concern you, make an appointment with a dermatologist (skin doctor).