Basal cell carcinoma: This skin cancer often forms on skin that has received years of sun exposure.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. More than two million cases of this skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.
This skin cancer usually develops on skin that gets sun exposure, such as on the head, neck, and back of the hands. BCC is especially common on the face, often forming on the nose. It is possible to get BCC on any part of the body, including the trunk, legs, and arms.
People who use tanning beds have a much higher risk of getting BCC. They also tend to get BCC earlier in life.
This type of skin cancer grows slowly. It rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Treatment is important because BCC can grow wide and deep, destroying skin tissue and bone.
Learn more about basal cell carcinoma:
Carucci JA, Leffell DJ. “Basal Cell Carcinoma” In: Wolff K et al
. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th edition
. USA. McGraw Hill Medical; 2008, p. 1036-42.
Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM et al. “Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell
Carcinoma.” J Am Acad Dermatol 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.940. (Article in Press).
Jarell AD, Mully TW. “Basal cell carcinoma on the ear is more likely to be of an aggressive phenotype in both men and women.” J Am Acad Dermatol 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.05.020. (Article in Press)
Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. “Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006.” Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287.
Wong CS, Stragne RC, Lear JT et al. “Clinical review: Basal cell carcinoma.” BMJ 2003 Oct 4;327:794-798.
Photograph used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.