Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. Almost all basal cell carcinomas occur on parts of the body most exposed to the sun such as; face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back.


Basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal and doesn’t typically spread. People at highest risk tend to have fair or light-colored skin, a history of sun exposure and a tendency to sunburn quickly. The appearance of basal cell carcinoma can vary greatly, but here are some possible signs that you may need to see a dermatologist:

  • Dry, red patch of skin that doesn’t get better
  • A pink, red or brown flesh-colored round lump
  • A spot that looks like a pimple but doesn’t get better or heal
  • Spot or sore that bleeds, goes away but then returns in same spot
  • Scar that feels waxy — may be skin-colored, white, or yellow
  • Group of shiny pink or red spots that look like sores, often scaly and bleed easily
  • Flat or sunken growth — feels hard, may be white or yellow
magnifying glass over woman's shoulder.


The goal of treatment for basal cell carcinoma is to remove the cancer completely.  The type of treatment depends on the type, location and size of your cancer, and whether this is a first-time or recurring basal cell.  Effective treatments include:

  • Surgical excision
  • Mohs surgery
  • Curettage and electrodessication (C and E)
  • Freezing
  • Topical and photodynamic therapies

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basal cell carcinoma on elderly man's cheek.
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