What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal Cell Carcinoma is known as the most frequently occurring form of cancer and the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer. This common form of non-melanoma skin cancer has led to an estimated 4.3 million cases in the U.S. and has resulted in over 3,000 deaths every year.

Causes

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is caused by the accumulated sun exposure throughout your lifetime. This includes the occasional intense exposure that generally leads to sunburn. The most common parts of the body that are diagnosed with BCC are: “the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back.”  

Who are at Risk?

Although anyone can develop Basal Cell Carcinoma, the populations that are the most at risk for developing BCC are those who have fair skin. Your occupation may also play a role in your chances of developing BCC if it requires long hours outdoors and in the sun. In addition to having an occupation that may contribute to a BCC diagnosis, those who prefer to spend their spare time in the sun are also prone to BCC as well.  However, it is important to understand that BCC can also be inherited.

5 Warning Signs by the Skin Cancer Foundation

  1. An open persistent, non-healing sore
  2. A reddish patch of skin usually on the face, chest, shoulder, arms or legs.
  3. Formation of a bump or nodule that appears to be pink, red, tan, black, and brown
  4. An elevated pink growth with a crusted indentation in the center

Importance of Diagnosis

If you believe that you may have Basal Cell Carcinoma, it is important to see a dermatologist right away. The sooner that BCC is found, the easier the treatment will be. Although BCC rarely spreads to vital organs, it has been known to cause disfigurement and can cause muscle and nerve damage if it is ignored.

This article was written by Christine L. Brady

Sources:

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/basal-cell-carcinoma/bcc-causes-and-risk-factors  

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts#nonmelanoma

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