What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting over 2 million people per year in the United States.  BCCs are rarely fatal but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.  These cancers appear in areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure such as the nose, cheeks, and ears.  BCC can present in a number of ways.  It may be a sore that never completely heals, a shiny, translucent bump similar to a mole, or a raised pink growth with a central indentation.  It could also be a red patch of skin or an irregular scar that is a waxy white or yellow.  BCC may spread superficially to surrounding tissues, but it typically does not affect other areas of the body.

If a BCC is diagnosed, it may be removed through surgical excision, ED&C, or Mohs.

Risk Factors for Basal Cell Carcinoma

BCC generally affects older patients, although it can occur in those who are younger.  Excessive or long-term sun exposure is the most common cause.  This is especially true for patients who are fair-skinned or have light-colored hair and eyes, as they are most susceptible.  In addition to UV rays, burns, exposure to radiation, and arsenical intoxication may all also contribute to the development of BCC.

Learn More about Basal Cell Carcinoma

If you notice a suspicious growth or lesion on your own skin, contact a dermatologist to determine its exact nature and appropriate treatment.  When there is any suspected case of skin cancer, early detection and treatment is the priority.  Schedule your consultation and treatment with our Baton Rouge dermatology office or Lafayette dermatology office.