Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, most often the nose.

Often this cancer appears as a raised bump that looks smooth and pearly. Another type looks like a scar and is flat and firm and may be white, yellow, or waxy.

Basal cell carcinoma may spread to tissues around the cancer, but it usually does not spread to other parts of the body.

Appearance of Basal Cell Carcinoma

basal cell carcinoma See larger image

basal cell carcinoma on ear See larger image

Early Detection of Basal Cell Carcinoma (Skin Cancer)

Because basal cell carcinoma can resemble other skin conditions, tell your doctor about unusual skin changes or lesions, especially these:

  • A sore that comes and goes but never completely heals
  • A shiny bump or nodule, especially if it appears pearly or translucent (these can look brown or reddish and resemble a mole)
  • A slightly raised pink growth with a crusted depression in the center, possibly with tiny blood vessels (capillaries) visible on the surface
  • A patch of skin that is red or irritated, especially on the chest, shoulders, or limbs
  • A white or yellow-ish waxy scar with poorly defined borders

Reference: National Cancer Institute

Last updated: February 12, 2016

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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