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Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Caused By The Sun

The Factors Contributing To Uvr

Basal Cell Carcinoma & The Dangers of Sunburn

The occurrence and development of BCC mainly depend on the interaction between general characteristics, such as genotypic and phenotypic features and subsequent environmental risk factor exposure. Therefore, as a primary risk factor, UVR could be combined with or influenced by other factors, such as general characteristics, UVR sources , and other environmental factors to induce the onset of BCC.

What Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Basal cell skin cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the skin. Its almost always cured when its found early and treated.

This cancer grows slowly. Over time, it can damage deeper tissues, such as muscles and bones. But it doesnt usually spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.

Its usually caused by too much sun. Tanning beds and sunlamps can also cause it.

Surgery is the most common treatment for basal cell skin cancer.

If the cancer is the low-risk type, you may have a choice between surgery and a medicated cream. The cancer is usually low-risk if its small, not deep, and has well defined borders. Your doctor will tell you if using a cream is a good option for you.

There are other treatments for this cancer, such as radiation and photodynamic therapy , and laser treatments. If you dont want to have surgery or use medicated cream, talk to your doctor about what else you might try.

Basal cell skin cancer sometimes comes back, no matter which treatment is used.

What Should I Do If I Suspect A Cancerous Growth

  • As soon as you notice something on your body that resembles any of the pictures on this page, make an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. The earlier you take care of it, the better off you will be.
  • Dont panic and assume the worst. Even if it turns out to be basal cell carcinoma which is the most common cancer, it is very treatable and prognosis is excellent if it is treated quickly.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Complications

Recurrent basal cell carcinoma

Recurrence of basal cell carcinoma after initial treatment is not uncommon. Characteristics of recurrent basal cell carcinoma often include:

  • Incomplete excision or narrow margins at primary excision
  • Morphoeic, micronodular, and infiltrative subtypes
  • Location on head and neck

Advanced basal cell carcinoma

Advanced basal cell carcinomas are large, often neglected tumours.

  • They may be several centimetres in diameter
  • They may be deeply infiltrating into tissues below the skin
  • They are difficult or impossible to treat surgically

Metastatic basal cell carcinoma

  • Very rare

Basal cell carcinoma is a locally invasive skin tumor. The main characteristics are:

  • Slowly growing plaque or nodule
  • Skin colored, pink or pigmented
  • Varies in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres in diameter
  • Spontaneous bleeding or ulceration

Basal cell carcinoma is very rarely a threat to life. A tiny proportion of basal cell carcinomas grow rapidly, invade deeply, and/or metastasise to local lymph nodes.

Figure 11. Basal cell carcinoma

How Can Uv Light Cause Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Cancer (BCC)  Skin Repair

Every time UV light hits our skin, it can damage some of the DNA inside our skins cells. The body tries to repair this damage.

As UV light from the sun, indoor tanning equipment, or both, continues to hit our skin, the damage builds up. Eventually, it becomes too much for the body to repair. When the body cannot repair the damage, changes called mutations develop. When the mutations build up in the skin, we get skin cancer.

The type of skin cancer we get depends on where the mutations develop in the skin. Basal cells are found deep inside the first layer of our skin, so we get basal cell carcinoma when mutations develop inside these cells.

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Answer: Risk Of Not Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma is a locally destructive type of skin cancer that is notorious for recurrence when not adequately treated. It can become quite disfiguring if left untreated, especially when located in cosmetically sensitive areas such as the nose. Typically this type of skin biopsy is performed for diagnosis and is not adequate treatment for a skin cancer. Biopsies sample a portion of the lesion, leaving some behind. This type of sampling biopsy is not intended to remove the entire lesion. It is not advisable to leave a known skin cancer untreated as it will likely grow and become more of a problem to remove in the future. Mohs micrographic surgery allows for 100% margin control and is tissue-sparing, which means it offers the highest cure rate while preserving as much normal tissue as possible.

How Serious Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Basal cell skin cancer, also known as basal cell carcinoma, is usually curable, but if left untreated, it can lead to disfigurement and complications. In most cases, basal cell carcinoma is very treatable.

It is unusual for basal cell carcinoma to cause death. In the United States, approximately 2,000 people die each year from basal and squamous skin cancers. In most cases, people who die from these types of skin cancer tend to be older, immunosuppressed, or diagnosed at an advanced stage.

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What Are The Clinical Features Of Basal Cell Carcinoma

BCC is a locally invasive skin tumour. The main characteristics are:

  • Slowly growing plaque or nodule
  • Skin coloured, pink or pigmented
  • Varies in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres in diameter
  • Spontaneous bleeding or ulceration

BCC is very rarely a threat to life. A tiny proportion of BCCs grow rapidly, invade deeply, and/or metastasise to local lymph nodes.

Basal Cell Carcinoma : Is It On Your Radar

Basal cell carcinoma educational video

What’s included in this resource?

  • CPDTime.
  • 3 Assessment Questions

What is this article about?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer but the least serious. It is triggered by DNA mutation to the block-like basal cells located in the lower layer of the epidermis, which causes the cells to grow and change abnormally.

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Surgery For Basal And Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

Surgery is a common treatment for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Different surgical techniques can be used. The options depend on the type of skin cancer, how large the cancer is, where it is on the body, and other factors. Most often the surgery can be done in a doctors office or hospital clinic using a local anesthetic . For skin cancers with a high risk of spreading, surgery sometimes will be followed by other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

Increased Rate Of Aging Of The Skin

Repeated exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation eventually causes skin damage similar to the aging process. Patches of skin become thin and less elastic, and develop blemishes, sun freckles, and wrinkles. These changes may take many years of exposure but when they occur, the damage is irreversible.

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Know Your Skin And Check It Regularly

Watch out for the following changes:

  • Moles that change shape, color, size, bleed, or have irregular borders
  • New spots on the skin that change in size, shape, or color
  • sores that do not heal
  • new bumps, bumps, or spots that dont go away
  • Shiny, waxy, or scarring lesions
  • New dark patches of skin appear
  • Rough, red, scaly, patches of skin

Seek advice from a medical professional if you notice any changes in your skin. Basal cell carcinoma is very treatable when caught early.

When Should I See A Healthcare Provider About Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

It is important to contact a healthcare provider any time you have a skin problem that does not resolve. This means developing any new or larger mole, lump or sore, or new symptoms such as pain or itchiness. If you have had BCC or another type of skin cancer, you will probably be given a recommended schedule of needed appointments. You should follow up on these appointments as directed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/05/2019.


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Tests Or Procedures That Examine The Skin Are Used To Diagnose Basal Cell Carcinoma And Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Skin

The following procedures may be used:

  • Physical exam and health history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patients health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Skin exam: An exam of the skin for bumps or spots that look abnormal in color, size, shape, or texture.
  • Skin biopsy: All or part of the abnormal-looking growth is cut from the skin and viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. There are four main types of skin biopsies:
  • Shave biopsy: A sterile razor blade is used to shave-off the abnormal-looking growth.
  • Punch biopsy: A special instrument called a punch or a trephine is used to remove a circle of tissue from the abnormal-looking growth. Enlarge Punch biopsy. A hollow, circular scalpel is used to cut into a lesion on the skin. The instrument is turned clockwise and counterclockwise to cut down about 4 millimeters to the layer of fatty tissue below the dermis. A small sample of tissue is removed to be checked under a microscope. Skin thickness is different on different parts of the body.
  • Incisional biopsy: A scalpel is used to remove part of a growth.
  • Excisional biopsy: A scalpel is used to remove the entire growth.

Summary Of Basal Cell Versus Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are both types of skin cancers.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is primarily a skin cancer, whereas squamous cell carcinomas can occur in other organs and tissue types.
  • Basal cell carcinoma tumors are more translucent in character than squamous cell carcinoma tumors. Basal cell carcinoma tumors can also have many pigmentations about them, and are most likely to be nodular. Squamous cell carcinoma tumors are also nodular in nature.
  • Both types of skin cancers are rarely metastatic, but squamous cell carcinomas are more likely than basal cell carcinomas to be metastatic.
  • Basal cell carcinomas are the most common form of nonmelanomas, with squamous cell carcinomas coming in second.

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What You Can Do

If youve already had a BCC, you have an increased chance of developing another, especially in the same sun-damaged area or nearby.

A BCC can recur even when it has been carefully removed the first time, because some cancer cells may remain undetectable after surgery and others can form roots that extend beyond whats visible. BCCs on the nose, ears and lips are more likely to recur, usually within the first two years after surgery.

Heres what you can do to detect a recurrence and safeguard yourself against further skin damage that can lead to cancer:

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Causes Of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Drug for High Risk Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Chronic sun exposure is one of the primary causes of basal cell carcinoma. Repeated exposure to ultraviolet light including UV rays from commercial tanning beds can cause genetic mutations in a persons skin cells. In the case of basal cell carcinoma, these mutations occur in the basal cells, which are responsible for producing new skin cells as old cells are shed away.

The exact DNA mutations that lead to basal cell carcinoma are still being studied. However, researchers generally understand that:

  • When these DNA mutations occur, they program the basal cells to multiply at a faster rate than normal. And, while healthy cells ordinarily die when its time for them to be replaced by new ones, DNA mutations can also prevent the basal cells from dying when they should.
  • Over time, the rapidly multiplying basal cells can start to accumulate and form a tumor.
  • With basal cell carcinoma, the abnormal cells typically do not spread throughout the rest of the body, but the tumor can eventually get larger and grow deeper through multiple layers of skin.

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What Causes Basal Cell Carcinomas

The main cause of damage leading to BCC is sun exposure. This is usually a combination of:

  • long-term, everyday sun exposure, and
  • occasional intense exposure, usually leading to sunburn.

In some cases, they are the result of damage caused by things such as burns, scars, infections, vaccinations or tattoos.

Diagnosing Basal Cell Carcinoma

To diagnose basal cell carcinoma your dermatologist will ask about your symptoms, risk factors, family history and other skin conditions and might also look at the suspect area with a dermatoscope a lighted magnifying lens.

If it looks suspicious, your doctor might remove it and send it to a lab. For basal cell carcinoma, its likely that the whole tumor will be removed as part of this skin biopsy.

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Prevention Of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Because basal cell carcinoma is often caused by sun exposure, people can help prevent this cancer by doing the following:

  • Avoiding the sun: For example, seeking shade, minimizing outdoor activities between 10 AM and 4 PM , and avoiding sunbathing and the use of tanning beds

  • Wearing protective clothing: For example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and broad-brimmed hats

  • Using sunscreen: At least sun protection factor 30 with UVA and UVB protection used as directed and reapplied every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating but not used to prolong sun exposure

In addition, any skin change that lasts for more than a few weeks should be evaluated by a doctor.

Key Points About Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) Treatment
  • Basal cell carcinomas are a type of non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • They often appear as a pale, pink or pearly smooth lump.
  • Although more common among older people, they can develop in people in their early 40s or even younger.
  • Most basal cell carcinomas are caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, so almost all occur on parts of your body that get the most sun.
  • They tend to be slow growing and very rarely spread to other parts of your body. Therefore they are almost never a danger to life.
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    What Is The Prognosis Of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma Of Skin

    • In general, the prognosis of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin is excellent, if it is detected and treated early.
    • Stage of tumor: With this lower-stage tumor, the prognosis is usually excellent with appropriate therapy
    • The surgical resectability of the tumor
    • Overall health of the individual: Individuals with overall excellent health have better prognosis compared to those with poor health
    • Age of the individual: Older individuals generally have poorer prognosis than younger individuals
    • Whether the tumor is occurring for the first time, or is a recurrent tumor. Recurring tumors have a poorer prognosis compared to tumors that do not recur
  • Without treatment , Superficial Basal-Cell Cancer of Skin can become invasive. This may result in a poor prognosis
  • Close and regular follow-up and long-term monitor for recurrence of BCC has to be maintained
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    Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Malignant

    4/5are basal cell carcinomascell carcinomasmalignantmalignant

    Accordingly, can a basal cell carcinoma turn into melanoma?

    Basal cell carcinoma does not progress into melanoma. The cancerous cells originate in the lower layers of the epidermis, grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is a rare but aggressive type of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes.

    Likewise, what does basal cell carcinoma look like? Basal cell carcinoma can look different. You may notice a skin growth in a dome shape that has blood vessels in it. It can be pink, brown, or black. At first, a basal cell carcinoma comes up like a small “pearly” bump that looks like a flesh-colored mole or a pimple that doesn’t go away.

    Additionally, can you die from basal cell skin cancer?

    Basal cell carcinoma is a very slow growing type of non-melanoma skin cancer. This type of skin cancer needs to be treated and has a high cure rate. If left untreated, basal cell carcinomas can become quite large, cause disfigurement, and in rare cases, spread to other parts of the body and cause death.

    How serious is basal cell skin cancer?

    The Most Common Skin CancerBCCs arise from abnormal, uncontrolled growth of basal cells. Because BCCs grow slowly, most are curable and cause minimal damage when caught and treated early. Understanding BCC causes, risk factors and warning signs can help you detect them early, when they are easiest to treat and cure.

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    Basal Cell Carcinoma Prognosis

    Most basal cell carcinomas are cured by treatment. Cure is most likely if treatment is undertaken when the lesion is small.

    About 50% of people with basal cell carcinoma develop a second one within 3 years of the first. They are also at increased risk of other skin cancers, especially melanoma. Regular self-skin examinations and long-term annual skin checks by an experienced health professional are recommended.

    Can Basal Cell Carcinoma Cause Complications

    Need to know: basal cell carcinoma – Online Interview

    The most common complication of basal cell carcinoma is recurrence. BCCs commonly recur, even after successful treatment. In some cases, BCC may reappear in the same place. It can also be disfiguring, especially if not treated promptly.

    A diagnosis of BCC increases the chance of developing other types of skin cancer. This includes melanoma, which can metastasize and is the most life-threatening form of skin cancer.

    Rare, aggressive forms of BCC can invade the body beyond the skin. It can destroy bone, nerves, and muscles. In rare cases it can metastasize to other parts of the body, including key organs, and become life-threatening.

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