Basal Cell Carcinoma
(Skin cancer-Basal Cell)
|Basal Cell Carcinoma|
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- Blonde or red hair
- Blue or green eyes
- Childhood sunburns, freckling, or long periods of sun exposure
- Fair skin that rarely tans
- A family history of skin cancer
- A personal history of skin cancer
- Treatment that suppresses the immune system , such as having an organ transplant
- History of radiation therapy
- Frequent use of tanning beds
- Certain rare genetic disorders, such as Gorlin’s syndrome
- A sore that may crust, bleed, or ooze for three weeks without healing
- A raised, red patch that may be itchy
- A shiny bump that can be pearl-like in appearance or, less often, dark in color, much like a mole
- A pink growth with a slightly raised border and dip in the middle
- A patch of skin that seems shiny and tight, much like a scar
- Mohs micrographic surgery—microscopic surgery that offers the best cure rate for basal cell carcinoma
- Removal of the growth with simple surgery
- Plastic surgery to repair any cosmetic problems that occur after treatment
- Electrodesiccation and curettage—treatment to remove section of skin
- Use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the growth
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy—the cells absorb an acid that causes them to die when exposed to light
- Creams, especially fluorouracil or imiquimod
- Reduce your sun exposure. Wear sunscreen, long sleeves, pants, and hats.
- Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day.
- UV light is stronger at higher elevations. If you ski or do other winter sports, wear sunscreen.
- At-risk adults should examine themselves monthly. They should also get regular full-body exams by a dermatologist. The doctor will check for moles, freckles, and other growths.
- Limit how much time your child spends in the sun. Discourage your child from tanning.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
The Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Saraiya M, et al. Preventing skin cancer. MMWR . 2003 Oct 17;52(RR15):1-12. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5215a1.htm. Accessed November 10, 2012.
Basal cell carcinoma of the skin. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2013.
Basal cell carcinoma. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/basal-cell-carcinoma. Accessed March 28, 2013.
Wong C, Strange R, et al. Basal cell carcinoma. BMJ. 2003;327:794-798.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/24/2013 -