Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma is the commonest type of skin cancer. It begins its growth from the most superficial layer of the skin called the epidermis and is very slow growing. It is associated with sunlight and ultraviolet radiation exposure and so most commonly occurs in the areas of the body which are most exposed such as the head and neck areas. BCCs almost never spreads however if left untreated, it can continue to grow locally and eventually involve nearby tissues.

BCCs often appear initially like a bump on the skin and can be mistaken as an insect bite or puncture injury from a thorn. It is often light pink or reddish in colour however it can also be flesh coloured or brown. Over time, it grows slowly and may appear to have a pearly or waxy appearance. It may also present as a sore that does not heal, ooze and crust over, have tiny bloody vessels adjacent to it and can occasionally bleed.

Further information can be downloaded here in the

Guidelines for the management of patients with basal cell carcinoma can be found here :


Society of Surgical Oncology

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