BASAL CELL CARCINOMA

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer.  They are abnormal, uncontrolled growths that arise from the basal cells of the skin.  These cells are found lining the deepest layer of the epidermis.  The classic appearance of a BCC is a pearly-appearing bump, often with rolled edges and sometimes with blood vessels on top.  They can also look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or even scars.  They are caused by cumulative UV exposure, including intense, occasional exposure and slow, gradual exposure over a lifetime.

BCCs almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original site of the tumor.  However, if not treated adequately, they can grow both on top of and underneath the skin resulting in significant disfiguration.  Treatment consists of removing the cancerous cells, either by a surgical excision, scraping and burning, or Mohs surgery.