What's in this article?
What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that grows on parts of your skin that get a lot of sun. It’s natural to feel worried when your doctor tells you that you have it, but keep in mind that it’s the least risky type of skin cancer. As long as you catch it early, you can be cured.
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off.
Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a waxy bump, though it can take other forms. Basal cell carcinoma occurs most often on areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face and neck.
Most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen may help protect against basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma Signs and symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) shows up on the skin in different ways. That’s because there are different types of this skin cancer. If you see any of the following on your skin, you should immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist:
♦ Dome-shaped skin growth with visible blood vessels. Often pink or skin-colored. Can also be brown or black or have flecks of these colors in the growth. Grows slowly. May flatten in the center, ooze, and crust over. Tends to bleed easily.
♦ Shiny pink or red, slightly scaly patch, especially when appears on the trunk. It grows slowly and may be mistaken for a patch of eczema.
♦ Waxy feeling, hard, pale-white to yellow or skin-colored growth that looks like a scar. Can be difficult to see the edges.
Basal cell carcinoma may look like a sore that:
♦ Bleeds easily.
♦ Won’t heal, or heals and returns.
♦ Oozes or crusts over.
♦ Has a sunken center, like a crater.
♦ Has visible blood vessels in or around it.
Basal cell carcinomas usually develop on sun-exposed parts of your body, especially your head and neck. A much smaller number occur on the trunk and legs. Yet basal cell carcinomas can also occur on parts of your body that are rarely exposed to sunlight.
Causes of Basal cell carcinoma
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or from a tanning bed are the main cause of basal cell carcinoma. When UV rays hit your skin, over time, they can damage the DNA in your skin cells. The DNA holds the code for the way these cells grow. Over time, damage to the DNA can cause cancer to form. The process takes many years.
Who gets Basal cell carcinoma
Anyone can get this common skin cancer, but some people have a greater risk. People with a greater risk of getting basal cell carcinoma (BCC) have one or more of the following risk factors: Your physical traits
♦ Light-colored or freckled skin.
♦ Blue, green, or gray eyes.
♦ Blond or red hair.
♦ An inability to tan.
What you’ve done
♦ Spent a lot of time outdoors for work or leisure, without using sunscreen or covering up with clothing.
♦ Frequently used tanning beds.
Your medical history
♦ If you had one BCC, your risk for developing a second one increases by about 40%.
♦ Close blood relative had BCC.
♦ Taking one or more drugs that suppress the body’s immune system. People take these drugs after receiving an organ transplant and to treat a medical condition, such as severe arthritis, lymphoma, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
♦ Overexposure or long-term exposure to x-rays, such as patients who received x-ray treatments for acne in the 1940s.