Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma accounts for over 75% of all cancers, and is the most common form of cancer worldwide. It occurs in middle-aged and older adults, especially those who are fair-skinned. It is more common in people who have regular prolonged sun exposure.

Basal cell carcinoma develops slowly and causes a lump or a small painless smooth-edged ulcer. Most commonly patients notice it as a growth or wound that never goes away. It most often occurs on the face, head, or neck. Basal cell carcinoma has a very small likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, however, the skin cancer can spread to nearby important structures such as nerves, eyes, ears, and nose.

Depending on the location and size of the basal cell carcinoma, treatment usually consists of biopsy followed by complete excision once the diagnosis is confirmed or by excisional biopsy or complete removal initially. Following complete removal no other form of treatment is required for that lesion. A patient with a history of basal cell carcinoma, however, has a 40% chance of developing another basal cell carcinoma within 5 years.

Although 85% of lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18, as adults, we can still take measures to reduce our exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunlight:

Apply sunscreen 30SPF or greater.

Wear a wide brimmed hat and sun protective clothing.

Avoid sun peak hours 10am – 4pm.

Do not use tanning booths.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Photos

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