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What Does Basal Cell Carcinoma Look Like On The Eyelid

Determining The Extent Of The Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma educational video

If your doctor determines you have skin cancer, you may have additional tests to determine the extent of the skin cancer.

Because superficial skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma rarely spread, a biopsy that removes the entire growth often is the only test needed to determine the cancer stage. But if you have a large squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma or melanoma, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine the extent of the cancer.

Additional tests might include imaging tests to examine the nearby lymph nodes for signs of cancer or a procedure to remove a nearby lymph node and test it for signs of cancer .

Doctors use the Roman numerals I through IV to indicate a cancers stage. Stage I cancers are small and limited to the area where they began. Stage IV indicates advanced cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.

The skin cancers stage helps determine which treatment options will be most effective.

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Recovery After Eyelid Surgery

Some patients may need to wear an eye patch for a few days. Swelling and bruising are common after surgery around the eyes. I tell all my patients who have surgery near the eye that theyll probably have a black eye afterwards. If they dont, theyll be pleasantly surprised. If the surgery was on the upper eyelid, I warn them that it may swell shut. Sleeping with the head elevated can help. And thanks to gravity, swelling goes away fairly quickly within a few days.

It takes six months to a year for a scar to heal completely, Dr. Ratner explains. Some patients may develop a hypertrophic, or raised, scar, especially on the lower eyelids, because when you blink or raise your eyebrows, the body feels that tension and pulls back. But we have procedures, such as steroid injections, that can flatten out thickened scars if they become uncomfortable or noticeable.

Warning Signs of Skin Cancer on the Eyelids

  • A basal cell carcinoma extending toward the margin of the lower eyelid. Early lesions may be subtle, so its important to be alert to changes in the skin around the eyes.
  • A subtle pearly lesion in the middle of the lower eyelids lash line is a BCC.
  • This crusty spot near the eye was diagnosed as a squamous cell carcinoma .
  • This horn-shaped growth on the lower eyelid, known as a cutaneous horn, is an SCC.

Tips For Screening Moles For Cancer

Examine your skin on a regular basis. A common location for melanoma in men is on the back, and in women, the lower leg. But check your entire body for moles or suspicious spots once a month. Start at your head and work your way down. Check the hidden areas: between fingers and toes, the groin, soles of the feet, the backs of the knees. Check your scalp and neck for moles. Use a handheld mirror or ask a family member to help you look at these areas. Be especially suspicious of a new mole. Take a photo of moles and date it to help you monitor them for change. Pay special attention to moles if youre a teen, pregnant, or going through menopause, times when your hormones may be surging.

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Management Of Eyelid Malignancies

Approximately 5 to 10 percent of all skin cancers occur in the eyelid. Incidence studies indicate that basal cell carcinoma is the most frequent malignant eyelid tumor, followed by squamous cell carcinoma, sebaceous gland carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.1 Many therapeutic methods have been suggested to combat the morbidity and mortality associated with these lesions.In this article, I will describe such clinical characteristics and clues to diagnosis of malignant eyelid lesions. I will also describe the most common and most effective methods of treatment once these lesions have been identified.

Figure 1: Basal cell carcinoma of the right upper eyelid. Note the slightly pigmented area in the lateral right upper eyelid with central ulceration, rolled edges, and loss of eyelashes in the area of the lesion.

Squamous cell carcinoma.

Figure 2: Squamous cell carcinoma of the right upper eyelid. Note the violaceous red hue across the entire upper eyelid with areas of madarosis and trichiasis.

Sebaceous gland carcinoma. Malignant melanoma.

Sebaceous Carcinoma Of The Skin

This is a basal cell skin cancer on lower eyelid.
What is sebaceous carcinoma?

Sebaceous carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Sebaceous carcinoma develops from specialized cells called sebocytes in the dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin. One of the most common locations for sebaceous carcinoma is in the skin around the eye. The cancer cells produce a fatty substance called sebum which often makes the tumour look yellow.


The outside of our body is covered in skin. The surface of the skin is called the epidermis. The epidermis produces a material called keratin. The epidermis is waterproof and protects us from toxins and injuries. The tissue beneath the epidermis is called the dermis, it contains blood vessels and connective tissue.

Below the dermis is a layer of subcutaneous fat. The epidermis is separated from the dermis and subcutaneous fat by a very thin layer of tissue called the basement membrane. Located within the dermis and subcutaneous tissue are small structures called adnexa. The adnexa in the skin include follicles that make hair and glands that produce sweat to keep us cool and oil to help keep our skin waterproof.

Sebaceous glands

Sebaceous glands are a type of gland found in the skin adnexa. Sebaceous glands make and secrete a material called sebum which looks and feels like fat. Too much sebum can make our skin and hair feel greasy.

What causes sebaceous cell carcinoma?

Muir Torre syndrome

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Eyelid Disorders: Diagnosis And Management

SUSAN R. CARTER, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California

Am Fam Physician. 1998 Jun 1 57:2695-2702.

Eyelid problems range from benign, self-resolving processes to malignant, possibly metastatic, tumors. Inflammation, infection, benign and malignant tumors, and structural problems such as ectropion, entropion and blepharoptosis may occur. Fortunately, most eyelid disorders are not vision-threatening or life-threatening however, many cause irritative symptoms such as burning, foreign-body sensation or pain. Blepharitis, or eyelid inflammation, one of the most common problems, is characterized by erythematous eyelids with accumulation of debris along the eyelid margin. Malignant eyelid tumors may be associated with lash loss and erosion of normal eyelid structures. Recognition and diagnosis of these problems are crucial to their proper management. Warm compresses and antibiotics suffice for many conditions, while excision, cryotherapy or laser treatment are required for some.

Lacrimal puncta, through which tears flow into the tear drainage system.


Lacrimal puncta, through which tears flow into the tear drainage system.

Anatomy of upper and lower eyelids.


Anatomy of upper and lower eyelids.

Can A Cocker Spaniel Have A Cyst On Its Skin

Cysts tend to occur in middle-aged or older dogs and are most commonly linked to breeds such as German Shepherds, Boxers and Cocker Spaniels. Technically speaking, a cyst is a sac in the skin lined with secretory cells. Fluid builds up inside the sac, causing a swelling on the surface of the skin.

Basically, a sebaceous cyst is a very large pimple that is harmless to your pet and may feel like a raised bump. If left alone, it might go away without treatment, but may recur. If it bursts, a white, paste-like or cottage-cheese-like material is seen. Most sebaceous cysts dont cause trouble, although they can become red and sore.

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Health & Wellness7 Skin Cancer Warning Signs To Never Ignore

Ultimately, its not the patients job to biopsy themselves. Its the patients job to see something and say something, Gastman said.

With some of my patients, I call it whack a mole. Theyve had melanoma and I say, look you may get a mole and it may be high risk of turning into melanoma, but well just keep cutting them out. When youre 100 years old, youll tell your great-grandchildren about all the scars you have on your body, but youll never die of your disease.

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Treatment For Ear Cancer

I HAVE SKIN CANCER | Basal Cell Carcinoma | signs, what it looks like, biopsy, treatment plan

Surgery to remove the cancer from the ear is the most common treatment. You may have radiation after surgery as well. How much of the ear is removed depends on the type, size and location of the ear canal tumor. After surgery for inner ear cancer, you may have partial or total hearing loss and struggle with balance.

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What Is A Sebaceous Gland

Sebaceous glands are small glands connected to hair follicles in the skin. They are located in any hair-bearing region of the body but are most numerous on the skin of the scalp and face. The glands are responsible for producing sebum which is an oily substance that keeps hair and skin moisturized.

Figure 3. Sebaceous glands

Patients And Tumour Classification

This study involved the evaluation of 382 radical BCC excisions in the eyelid region carried out between 1980 and 1993. Fifty two of these patients underwent primary surgical tumour excision at other hospitals and were then assigned to our hospital for treatment of the recurrences. Clinical and macroscopic diagnosis was carried out. In cases of widespread and infiltrating tumours the extension was verified by echography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging for purposes of planning the operation.

Tumour localisation was classified as upper or lower lid and medial or lateral canthus. The BCCs were divided according to macroscopically or echographically measured tumour size into the groups 14 mm, 59 mm, 1014 mm, 1519 mm, and 20 mm or larger. Tumours growing deeply into the orbicularis oculi muscle are strictly classified as BCCs with an in depth extension. Histological results were divided into three groups corresponding to the literature. The histological patterns of BCC are determined by the relative amounts of cellular and stromal elements and by the extent of cellular differentiation.

First group

Second group

Sclerosing BCC

The histological pattern is determined by a high proportion of fibrous stroma. Tumour cells form strands which often penetrate deeply into the dermis. Furthermore, sclerosing BCC is characterised by the loss of palisade formation, especially in the deeper lying parts of the tumour.

Third group

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Side Effects Of Treatment

There are possible side effects for every cancer treatment, but patients dont experience the same side effects when given the same treatments for many reasons. That can make it hard to predict exactly how you will feel during treatment.

Before treatment begins, talk with your healthcare provider about possible side effects of each type of treatment you will be receiving. Ask which side effects are most likely to happen, when they are likely to occur, and what can be done to prevent or relieve them.

In some cases of eyelid surgery, the functioning of the eyelid can be affected so that the eye doesnt close completely. This can cause the eye to become dry or tear. Fortunately, this can be treated with medication.

In addition, recurrence of cancer can happen if the tumor is not completely removed. Many eyelid tumors spread to the adjacent tissue, making it tricky to completely remove them. This is why it is recommended to receive treatment from a healthcare provider who is experienced in eyelid cancer treatment.

During and after treatment, its important to tell your healthcare team about any side effects you experience, even if you feel they are not serious. Side effects that last beyond the treatment period are called long-term side effects.

What Is Eyelidbasal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell skin cancer on the eyelid

Eyelidbasal cell carcinoma is one of the malignant eyelid tumours. It is a skin cancer. Around the eye it is known as periocular basal cell carcinoma . It is more common in older patients on the lower eyelid although it can appear around the nose in the area known as the medial canthus, the upper eyelid or anywhere on the skin. Commonly it is known as a rodent ulcer. It is a slow growing tumour that rarely spreads to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. With increased sun exposure and an increasing older population the incidence of BCC is about 1%.

There are different clinical variants of BCC including:

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How Should Sebaceous Naevus Be Treated

A sebaceous naevus should be monitored. If a lump or sore appears within a sebaceous naevus, arrange for it to be reviewed by a dermatologist. It may require a biopsy or the whole sebaceous naevus may be excised .

Full skin thickness excision may also be arranged for cosmetic reasons but a scar is inevitable.

Lasers have been used to treat sebaceous naevus with varying success.

Basal cell carcinoma arising within sebaceous naevus

Have You Been Diagnosed

The vast majority of skin cancers around the eyes arebasal cell carcinomas . While BCCs rarely spread to the lymph nodes or beyond, they can grow large enough to cause disfigurement around your eyes. Squamous cell carcinomas account for a small percentage of eyelid cancers. This type has a higher chance of spreading and, in a small number of cases, may become life-threatening. Melanoma, a more dangerous form of skin cancer, can occur around and in the eye, but it is far more rare.

If youve just been diagnosed with a nonmelanoma skin cancer near your eye, it may seem scary, but dont panic, says New York City dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Désirée Ratner, MD. This is such a common location to develop skin cancers, and dermatologic surgeons know how to manage them. Even though you might feel freaked out, for us its routine.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Basal Cell Carcinomas

Most basal cell carcinomas are painless. People often first become aware of them as a scab that bleeds occasionally and does not heal completely. Some basal cell carcinomas are very superficial and look like a scaly red flat mark. Others have a pearl-like rim surrounding a central crater. If left for years, the latter type can eventually erode the skin causing an ulcer. Other basal cell carcinomas are quite lumpy, with one or more shiny nodules crossed by small but easily seen blood vessels.

Can You Die From Eyelid Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) 101 – Dermpath Basics Explained by a Dermatopathologist

It is rare to die from a BCC unless it is left untreated. Of the eyelid malignancies, malignant melanoma is the most serious that you can die from followed by squamous cell carcinoma as these tumours have the ability to spread. Sebaceous gland carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma are also malignant tumours of the periocular region that can spread and be fatal.

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Removal Of A Basal Cell Carcinoma From A Patients Eyelid

These images were taken from a patient who initially presented at Clarus Dermatology with a nonhealing sore near his eyelid. Dr. Craig Roelke, a partner at the clinic, obtained a biopsy and interpreted the sore as basal cell carcinoma a common, slow-growing skin cancer.

When you have skin cancer in a high-risk area like the eyelid, the optimal treatment for the patient is Mohs surgery. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Neil Shah successfully performed the surgery at the clinic and only local anesthesia was needed for the procedure.

The basal cell carcinoma tumor required two stages to completely clear. During the first stage, Dr. Shah removed some of the skin tissue from the patient, and he waited for it to process. Once done, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shah looked at the microscopic slides of the skin and determined that more tissue needed to be taken during the second stage to clear the tumor.

In image II. the carcinoma has been cleared and what you see is the post-clearance defect the tumor after all of the skin cancer was removed. The area of the defect was closed with a method similar to what is called a pentagonal wedge resection of the eyelid.

The conjunctiva and the orbital septum were repaired using 6-0 gut sutures with the tied knots facing outwards to avoid scratching the cornea.

This doesnt even include the costs for surgical procedures , which would be similar to the $1,340 that our clinic billed.

Bcc Versus Miscellaneous Tumors

The following factors were more common with miscellaneous tumors compared to BCC: orbital tumor extension , need for orbital exenteration , locoregional lymph node metastasis , and systemic metastasis .

Overall, SGC and miscellaneous tumors were more commonly associated with locoregional tumor invasion into the orbit/paranasal sinuses/brain compared to SCC and BCC . Locoregional lymph node metastasis was more common in patients with miscellaneous tumors . Over a mean follow-up period of 19 months , tumor recurrence , systemic metastasis , and death due to metastasis occurred more commonly in patients with SGC compared to other eyelid malignancies.

The 5-year Kaplan-Meier estimates for locoregional lymph node metastasis for SGC, BCC, SCC, and miscellaneous tumors were 43, 1, 22, and 47% , respectively , for distant metastasis 36, 0, 11, and 18% , respectively , and for metastasis-related death 25, 0, 11, and 16% , respectively .

Table 4.

Kaplan-Meier estimates of malignant eyelid tumors

Fig. 2.

Kaplan-Meier analysis of lymph node metastasis. Tumor 1, basal cell carcinoma tumor 2, squamous cell carcinoma tumor 3, sebaceous gland carcinoma tumor 4, miscellaneous tumor.

Fig. 3.

Kaplan-Meier analysis of distant metastasis. Tumor 1, basal cell carcinoma tumor 2, squamous cell carcinoma tumor 3, sebaceous gland carcinoma tumor 4, miscellaneous tumor.

Fig. 4.

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What Are The Most Common Sites For Basal Cell Carcinoma

Periocular tumors most commonly involve the lower eyelid , followed by the medial canthus , the upper eyelid , and the lateral canthus . Examples are shown in the images below.

Though a literature review showed all authors agreed that periocular BCC most commonly occurs in the lower eyelid, the remaining anatomical locations and the incidence of occurrence differ among the studies.

Younger patients may have a lower prevalence of BCC on the head and neck and a higher prevalence on the trunk, with greater tendency to superficial BCC, than in older patients. Childhood BCC is exceedingly rare in the absence of other underlying conditions. Only 107 cases of de novo childhood BCC have been reported in the literature, but the majority occurred on the head and neck, and aggressive subtypes were observed in 20% of the total cases.


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