Basal cell carcinoma is the commonest skin cancer in Europe, Australia and the United States.1 The incidence of basal cell carcinoma is thought to be increasing. This is likely to be related to an aging population and a rise in exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It occurs more commonly in Caucasians and men.1 As basal cell carcinoma is locally invasive, it can cause destruction of tissues, particularly in the head and neck area. In more aggressive basal cell carcinomas, there may be perineural or perivascular invasion. Fortunately, metastasis rarely occurs.1
Basal cell carcinoma are commonly found on sun-exposed areas such as the head and neck. Risk factors include sun exposure during childhood, advancing and Fitzpatrick skin types 1 and 2 as well as immunosuppression.1
It follows that patients with one basal cell carcinoma have an increased risk of developing further basal cell carcinomas. Patients with Gorlin’s syndrome may present with multiple basal cell carcinomas.1
The diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma is generally a clinical one. Dermoscopy may aid the diagnosis. If there is diagnostic doubt, excisional biopsy may be considered.2
Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.