Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma leg

In the US there are over 2.8 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma per year. It is the most common, but also the mildest, the type of skin cancer.

The tumor grows slowly and only in the skin, and it does not spread to other organs. Basal cell carcinoma particularly affects fair-skinned people who have had high levels of UV and sunlight exposure. This form of tumor is less common before age 40 and becomes more common as we get older. It is generally found on exposed skin areas, especially in the face, but also on the trunk and limbs.



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Basal Cell Carcinoma appears in 3 main forms:

  • Nodular basal cell carcinoma is the most common form. It appears as a well-defined, solid, shiny facial lesion with prominent blood vessels which may bleed easily.
  • Superficial basal cell carcinoma appears as a persistent red patch of skin that may bleed easily. It is often found on the trunk.
  • Morphoeic basal cell carcinoma is less common. It may look like scarred skin and share features of nodular and superficial basal cell carcinoma. It is most often found on the face.


American Academy of Dermatology. Basal cell carcinoma. Available at:

American Cancer Society. Basal and squamous cell skin cancer treatment. Available at:

Skin Cancer Foundation. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). Available at:

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