Basel Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, develops in the epidermis — the outer layer of the skin. It’s the most common type of skin cancer and results from abnormal growth of the round, basal cells. Basal cell cancer most commonly appears on the head and neck of both men and women.
Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, develops in the epidermis — the outer layer of the skin. It’s the most common type of skin cancer and results from abnormal growth of the round, basal cells. Basal cell cancer most commonly appears on the head and neck of both men and women. In women, BCC also frequently occurs on their lower extremities, while men tend to have more ear lesions. Additionally, BCC is becoming more common on the trunk, arms and legs of both genders. It rarely metastasizes, or spreads, to other parts of the body.
Basal cell skin cancer grows slowly and is seldom fatal, but it can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. Unlike squamous cell skin cancer, BCC is linked to intermittent, intense and early episodes of sunburn. It is the most common skin cancer in Hispanics, Caucasians, Chinese, Japanese and other Asians. Keep in mind that early screening and diagnosis are vital to treatment success.
The number of cases of basal cell cancer has been increasing for several years and it accounts for up to 80 percent of all skin cancers. This increase may be due to a combination of more sun exposure, early detection, and people living longer. As a rule, men are about two times more likely than women to have basal cell cancers. A higher incidence of outdoor employment and participation in outdoor recreational activities may be contributing factors.
It’s important to note that there's mounting evidence of a link between tanning bed use and all skin cancers. A recent study found that using an indoor tanning bed was associated with a 50 percent increase in the risk of basal cell carcinoma. Seventy one percent of tanning salon patrons are girls and women, ages 16 to 29. In the past 30 years, the number of women under age 40 who were diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer has more than doubled.
Regularly checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect basal cell skin cancer in its earliest stages and gives the greatest chance for successful treatment. If you find something suspicious, it’s important to contact your provider immediately for evaluation.