Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Basal Cell Skin Cancer Overview

Another name for Basal Cell Skin Cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma.

What is basal cell carcinoma?
A person with a basal cell carcinoma has abnormal skin cells that multiply out of control. These cells can form tumors, but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting approximately one million Americans each year. Basal cell carcinomas usually form on areas of the skin that receive the most sun, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back. The greatest risk is seen in those with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue, green, or grey eyes.

What are the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma skin lesions are red to brown bumps on the skin surface. Skin lesions may form skin ulcers and bleed. Tangles of blood vessels may be prominent.

How does the doctor treat basal cell carcinoma?
The most common treatment for basal cell carcinoma involves surgical removal of the skin lesion using surgical excision, cryosurgery, electrodesiccation and curettage, or Moh's surgery.

Continue to Basal Cell Skin Cancer Incidence

Last Updated: May 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Basal Cell Skin Cancer References
  1. Bath-Hextall F, Bong J, Perkins W, Williams H. Interventions for basal cell carcinoma of the skin: systematic review. BMJ. 2004 Sep 25;329(7468):705. [15364703]
  2. Christenson LJ, Borrowman TA, et al. Incidence of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas in a population younger than 40 years. JAMA. 2005 Aug 10;294(6):681-90. [16091570]
  3. Netscher DT, Spira M. Basal cell carcinoma: an overview of tumor biology and treatment. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Apr;113(5):74E-94E. [15060341]
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