Virtual visit appointments available 7 days a week from 9:00am to 11:00pm. Learn More
Basal cell carcinoma
What is basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. It may appear as a bump that is small, white, or flesh-colored. The bump may grow and slowly begin to bleed. Basal cell carcinoma may also be referred to as basal cell cancer.
How common is basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. However, it is considered a rare or unusual childhood cancer. Melanoma the most common skin cancer in children.
What are the risk factors associated with basal cell carcinoma?
Risk may be increased by exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight from tanning beds for long periods of time. Other risk factors include fair complexions in skin that freckles & burns easily; blue or green or other light-colored eyes; red or blond hair, actinic keratosis, a history of radiation treatment, or a weakened immune system.
What are the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is visible to the naked eye, since it is on the outer layer of skin. Symptoms may include a sore on the skin that doesn't heal and/or areas of the skin that are:
- small, raised, smooth, shiny, and waxy
- Flat, rough, red or brown, and scaly
- Scaly, bleeding, or crusty
- Similar to a scar and firm
Where is basal cell carcinoma most likely to be found?
Basal cell carcinoma is most like to be found on an area of the body that has been exposed to the sun. Sun exposure can be linked to basal cell carcinoma.
What is the outlook for patients with basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize, which means spread, to other areas or parts of the body. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the tumor.