Basal Cell Carcinoma

  • Most common and least dangerous skin cancer.
  • Appears as a lump or flat area and is red or pearly in colour.
  • May become ulcerated and bleed and fail to heal.
  • Grows slowly, usually on the head, neck and upper torso.


Basal cell Carcinoma (BCC) is by far the most common form of skin cancer. Although they are rarely a threat to life, if left untreated they can grow, erode and destroy adjoining structures. Loss of whole organs, such as the nose, ear and eye, can occasionally occur. BCC’s are more easily and successfully treated in their early stages. The larger a tumour the more extensive the treatment required.
Basal Cell Carcinoma grows from cells in the lower part of the upper layer of the skin. The growth tends to be quite slow, taking a period of months to years, and only rarely do these cancers spread throughout the body. BCCs most commonly appear on the face, head, neck and trunk regions and can occur in difficult to treat areas such as near the eye and the lower legs. In short, BCCs can occur on any area of the body. Risk factors for developing BCC include:

  • Caucasian
  • Female
  • Sun exposure
  • Increasing age
  • Previous BCC – 40% chance of developing another
  • Arsenic, radiation exposure
  • Immunosuppression
  • Basal cell neavus syndrome


BCC can be diagnosed easily by your skin cancer specialist using Shave, punch and excisional biopsies. Usually removal of these cancers is curative.