Basal Cell Carcinoma-Symptoms and causes

by Zack Walter Health Care Professional

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and easiest-to-treat skin cancer. Because basal cell carcinoma spreads slowly, it occurs mostly in adults. Basal cell tumors can take on many forms, including a pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels, on the ears, neck, or face. Tumors can also appear as a flat, scaly, flesh-colored or brown patch on the back or chest, or more rarely, a white, waxy scar.


Basal cell carcinoma appears as a change in the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won’t heal. These changes in the skin (lesions) usually have one of the following characteristics:

  • A flat, scaly, reddish patch with a raised edge is more common on the back or chest. Over time, these patches can grow quite large.
  • A white, waxy, scar-like lesion without a clearly defined border, called morphea form basal cell carcinoma, is the least common.
  • A brown, black or blue lesion — or a lesion with dark spots — with a slightly raised, translucent border.
  • A pearly white, skin-colored or pink bump that is translucent, meaning you can see a bit through the surface. Tiny blood vessels are often visible. In people with darker skin tones, the lesion may be darker but still somewhat translucent. The most common type of basal cell carcinoma, this lesion often appears on the face and ears. The lesion may rupture, bleed and scab over.
  • A flat, scaly, reddish patch with a raised edge is more common on the back or chest. Over time, these patches can grow quite large.

Causes Of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Almost all basal cell cancers occur on parts of the body excessively exposed to the sun — especially the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, chest and back. On rare occasions, however, tumors develop on unexposed areas

When To See A Doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor or visit Sherman urgent care if you observe changes in the appearance of your skin, such as a new growth, a change in a previous growth or a recurring sore.

Who’s At Risk?

Anyone with a history of sun exposure can develop a basal cell carcinoma. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is the risk factor most closely linked to this cancer.  However, other factors (such as ionizing radiation, chronic arsenic ingestion, and immune suppression, family history, skin type, and genetic syndromes) also potentially contribute to carcinogenesis.  People who are at highest risk have fair skin, blond or red hair, and blue, green, or grey eyes. Those most often affected are older people, but as the number of new cases has increased sharply each year in the last few decades, the average age of patients has steadily decreased.

This type of skin cancer is rarely seen in children, but occasionally a teenager is affected. More and more people in their twenties and thirties are presenting with basal cell carcinoma.


A diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma is confirmed with a biopsy. In this procedure, the skin is first numbed with local anesthesia. A piece of tissue is then removed and sent to our pathologists. If tumor cells are present, treatment is required. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for eradicating basal cell carcinoma. The choice of treatment is based on the type, size, location, and depth of penetration of the tumor, the patient’s age and general health, and the likely cosmetic outcome of specific treatments. Treatment can almost always be performed on an outpatient basis. Any pain or discomfort during the procedure is minimal, and pain afterwards is rare.

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About Zack Walter Freshman   Health Care Professional

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Joined APSense since, November 22nd, 2019, From Sherman, United States.

Created on Mar 10th 2020 15:45. Viewed 394 times.


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