Published March 9, 2020

Estimates suggest that about one in five people will develop skin cancer at some point in their life. Despite its prevalence, skin cancer has a higher survival rate, especially when it is caught early. If you have skin cancer and are considering avoiding conventional treatments, you may be wondering what happens if skin cancer is untreated. Can skin cancer go away on its own? Read on to learn more. You may even find that you can avoid conventional treatments entirely with a skin cancer natural treatment.

Understanding Skin Cancer

Skin cancer emerges in the skin cells within the dermis. There are a few types of skin cancer with basal cell carcinoma being the most common skin cancer type. Following basal cell carcinoma is squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the rarer of the three, but it also tends to be more aggressive as it has a higher risk of spreading to other areas of the body like to a lymph node or other organs.

Do you have a skin lesion forming on healthy, normal skin? Abnormal skin cell growth results in masses and lesions, which are some of the first signs of melanoma and other skin cancer types. Other common forms might include basal cell skin cancer, bowen’s disease, and squamous cell cancer. Not all types of skin growths are cancerous. In fact, common benign skin cancer growths include moles, warts, and birthmarks. These growths are considered non-cancerous as they do not grow or grow at such a slow rate that metastasis is highly unlikely. However, moles can potentially become melanomas over a long period of time. Be sure to keep an eye on any skin growths as these are leading indicators when identifying skin cancer. It’s important to consult your doctor and dermatologist to help you determine whether you simply have a wart or skin cancer.

What Causes Skin Cancer?

Before answering, “Can skin cancer heal on its own?” it’s important that you first understand what causes skin cancer. In most cases, an underlying cause of skin cancer is excessive sun exposure. This exposure to ultraviolet and UV radiation can cause damage to the DNA of the cells. Once your immune system has been compromised, these skin cells can mutate and lead to cancerous cell growth.

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Can Skin Cancer Heal On Its Own?

Whether you don’t think a nodule is particularly concerning or don’t want to go through the procedure and negative effects of treatment, you may be considering opting out of any form of treatment for your skin cancer. However, the true question is: can skin cancer go away on its own?

Simply put, no. Keratoacanthoma, a rare type of skin cancer that appears as dome-shaped tumors on skin prone to sun exposure, can potentially shrink and go away on its own without treatment. However, this is rare, and many keratoacanthomas continue to grow and may potentially spread to various areas in the body.

How Long Can Skin Cancer Be Left Untreated?

The risks associated with leaving skin cancer untreated vary significantly with the type of skin cancer and its stage. For non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the growth is generally slower, meaning they might be left untreated for months or even years without immediate severe consequences. However, melanoma, due to its aggressive nature, requires prompt treatment. Delaying treatment for melanoma can significantly decrease survival rates, as it can spread to other parts of the body within weeks or months.

What Happens If Skin Cancer is Untreated?

The exact effects of untreated skin cancer can vary from patient to patient. Cancer cells will continue to grow uncontrolled. This will result in existing tumors and lesions increasing in size, as well as the formation of new tumors. As these cancer cells grow, they can cut put pressure on other tissues, cutting off blood flow and eventually causing those tissues or organs to fail.

Depending on the skin cancer type, cancerous skin cells may spread into nearby healthy tissues, including bone and lymph nodes. Sometimes, tumors may break off and move through the blood or lymphatic system to other parts in the body. Cancerous cells can then latch onto organs or tissue far away from where they originated.

Even if skin tumors do not spread to other areas (a process known as metastasis), they can still pose problems. If left not treated, skin tumors can ulcerate and bleed, which can contribute to pain and discomfort and potentially become infected. This can pose further health risks to the patient, family, and caregivers.

What Does Untreated Skin Cancer Look Like? 

Untreated skin cancer can manifest in various ways, depending on the type. Basal cell carcinomas may look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. Squamous cell carcinomas often appear as persistent, thick, rough, scaly patches that can bleed if bumped or injured. Untreated melanoma might exhibit changes in existing moles or the development of new suspicious-looking growths, which can be asymmetrical, have irregular borders, multiple colors, and a diameter larger than a pencil eraser.

So, does skin cancer go away on its own? No. Remember that there are numerous types of skin cancers that can take the form of various skin lesions. It’s difficult to predict the growth of any single tumor, especially considering all of the variables involved—the patient’s health, the patient’s family history, the type of skin cancer and its staging.

Treating Skin Cancer the Alternative Way

You may have your own reasons for not receiving treatment for your skin cancer, like being too weak to undergo the process of healing after skin cancer surgery. Or maybe you’d rather just pursue natural remedies for skin cancer like essential oils for skin cancer. Thankfully, there is a variety of treatment options available for skin cancer, including non-invasive treatments. At Immunity Therapy Center, we use alternative cancer treatments, diet, and specific attention to your cancer to create a custom treatment program. Skin cancer is highly treatable, especially if caught early, so if you notice a skin irregularity or are concerned about skin cancer, consult your doctor and dermatologist immediately. The sooner you do, the sooner you can seek out treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic cancer treatment center and how we prioritize your health and well-being.


Written By: Dr. David Alvarez

Dr. David Alvarez is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Xochicalco and Certified by the American Heart Association (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support).

Dr. Alvarez has been collaborating with Dr. Bautista as an Assistant Medical Director at the Immunity Therapy Center for over 6 years. He provides daily on site patient care and participates on the medical board on research and development of patient treatment plans and programs. Dr. Alvarez is a knowledgeable and compassionate Doctor committed to helping patients get to where they want to be health wise through a more holistic and comprehensive approach.



  1. Skin Cancer Foundation. Melanoma Overview: A Dangerous Skin Cancer.
  2. American Cancer Society. What Are Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers?
  3. Healthline. What Does Skin Cancer Look Like?
  4. Skin Cancer Foundation. The Clock Starts … Now!
  5. NIH. Duration of acceptable delay between the time of diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
  6. NIH. Devastating effect of untreated facial squamous cell carcinoma.

Dr. Carlos Bautista is a Board Certified Medical Doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and has more than 20 years of experience working with Alternative Medicine to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic degenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. He opened Immunity Therapy Center in 2007 with the goal of providing the highest quality medical care for more than 5,000 patients.

At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.