Basal Cell Cancer
BCCs are the most common skin cancer and account for 80% of all non-melanoma skin cancers.
They are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells – in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). There are different sub-types of Basal Cell cancers, some more aggressive than others.
BCCs often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or a scar-like area.
Most Basal Cell Carcinomas occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun — especially the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back, but many can be found in areas that are only burned or exposed occasionally - such as the abdomen or upper thighs
They are usually caused by sun exposure – both long term, cumulative exposure and intense, overexposure causing sunburn.
BCCs almost never spread beyond the original tumour site. However, they continue to grow and can cause major disfigurement so early treatment is recommended. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.
Treatment depends on the BCC subtype and area of the body affected. Treatments include surgery, photodynamic therapy, chemotherapeutic creams, cryotherapy (freezing), curettage & cautery (burning) and radiotherapy.