Basal Cell Carcinoma - Signs & Symptoms

Basal cell car­ci­no­ma (BCC) is a skin can­cer that aris­es from basal cells. Basal cells are found in the low­er lay­ers of the skin. The prog­no­sis for patients with BCC is excel­lent, but if the lesion is left untreat­ed, it can cause sig­nif­i­cant dis­ease pro­gres­sion. BCC occurs pri­mar­i­ly on the face, head, scalp, neck, and hands.

Basal Cell Car­ci­no­ma can include the fol­low­ing characteristics:

  • Waxy appear­ance
  • Pearly appear­ance
  • Ero­sion or ulcer­a­tion — often in the cen­ter with pigmentation
  • Bleed­ing — espe­cial­ly when traumatized
  • Ooz­ing or crust­ed areas — espe­cial­ly in large BCCs
  • Rolled (raised) border 
  • Translu­cen­cy
  • Slow grow­ing: 0.5 cm in 1 – 2 years 

Patients with a his­to­ry of skin can­cer should have reg­u­lar full-body skin exams per­formed by their Der­ma­tol­o­gist, and all patients should per­form month­ly self examinations.

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