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Basal cell carcinoma in pictures

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Nodular basal cell carcinoma

Nodular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a non-melanocytic skin cancer that arises from the basal cells in the lower level of the epidermis, developing from apparently normal skin. Although it infiltrates locally, it rarely metastasises. It is the most common type of cancer in humans, and it most often occurs elderly people who have, over the years, enjoyed excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation, particularly during childhood and especially if they are fair skinned with blue eyes and burn easily in the sun.

Immunosuppression, transplant surgery, and excess alcohol increase the risk of BCC. Certain genetic traits leave those with conditions such as xeroderma pigmentosum, albinism, Gorlin syndrome, and Bazex syndrome vulnerable or it may develop, usually in later life, in a sebaceous naevus.

The most common type is nodular BCC, which first appears as a pearly, round, flesh-coloured papule with superficial telangiectases. On slowly enlarging, this ulcerates and may bleed, leaving an area with a raised pearly border, which is more obvious on stretching the lesion. They usually occur on the face, but other areas, such as the trunk and limbs, may be involved.

Superficial basal cell carcinoma


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