Confusing Basal Cell Carcinoma with Seborrheic Keratosis

Last updated: July 2022

Last year my 42-year-old husband and I were gardening and I noticed a strange looking spot on the side of his neck. It was about a 4mm diameter and raised and pink. It was down low so it would usually be covered by a collar. It was spring and warm so he was wearing a t-shirt.

Seborrheic Keratosis Diagnosis

I said, "what's that on your neck? It doesn't look good." He said it had been there for a while and I told him he needed to get it checked out. We made an appointment at our local GP clinic and the doctor assured him it was nothing of concern, a seborrheic keratosis that can flake and get red from time to time. Being near his collar line it was probably getting irritated by his clothing, the doctor said. The doctor said he was 100% certain it was fine.

Getting a Second Opinion

Skip forward eight months, my husband decides to get a second opinion as he's still concerned. The spot seems to be scabbing rather than flaking. He sees a different doctor and doesn't mention the earlier diagnosis. This doctor also confidently diagnoses seborrheic keratosis and says there's nothing to worry about but that he will remove it if it's worrying my husband.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Misdiagnosed

A month later my husband decides yes, he wants it removed as it just doesn't feel right. The doctor sent the sample for testing and it turns out it was a basal cell carcinoma misdiagnosed.

Neither of these doctors were trained skin specialists, rather ordinary GPs. Perhaps a skin specialist would have had the experience and training to tell the difference.

Please, always trust your instincts and if in doubt, get it cut out.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Do you sunscreen in the fall?