Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in the U.S. Basal Cell Carcinoma normally affects the face, neck, and hands of the patient. It does not spread to the other parts of body. But they can damage surrounding tissues by growing and invading them. It can be easily treated. Most common symptoms of this disease are bleeding or oozing sores, irritation and redness of an area of skin, yellow or white scar like patches or a pink or pearl like bump on the skin.

Risk Factors for Basal Cell Carcinoma

There are many factors, which can trigger development of Basal Cell Carcinoma. The most common risk factors for this disease is over exposure to sun or ultraviolet rays. Other risk factors include light-colored skin, age, exposure to radiation etc. older people with fair skin are at higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. It commonly develops on face but can also affect the chest, back, arms, legs, and scalp.

Exposure to sun:

Over exposure to sun is the most common cause of developing basal cell carcinoma. U.S. National Institutes of Health also stated that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the major cause of skin cancer. People living in areas receiving high levels of UV radiation from the sun are at higher risk of developing this disease. The highest rate of skin cancer is in South Africa and Australia. These continents receive high amounts of UV radiation.


People above 50 years of age are at higher risk of developing this disease if they are suffering skin damage due to exposure to sun for a long period. Though young people can also develop this disease if they are over exposed to sun or ultra violet rays.

Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation:

Tanning booth has become a popular option for people wanting natural tanning of skin. These tanning booths use ultra violet rays for tanning. Over exposure to these rays can increase risk of developing Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Therapeutic Radiation:

Exposure to high amount of radiation as a part of treatment for diseases such as cancer increases risk of developing Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Fair Skin:

People with fairer skin are at higher risk of this disease if exposed to sun or ultra violet rays.

Weak Immune System:

Weak immune system also increases risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.

Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a slow growing skin cancer. It takes even years to grow into a significant size. It rarely spreads to other parts of body. It affects those parts of skin, which are widely exposed to sun such as eye, ear, face or nose. It can damage and disfigure these body parts. Some of the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma are listed below.

  • It is mainly identified by a small, dome-shaped bump. This bump is usually covered with small blood vessels. These bumps look translucent and are shiny.
  • A flesh color growth may also be basal cell carcinoma.
  • Some basal cell carcinomas may have melaline pigment and they may look dark.
  • Patches of raw and dry skin on the chest or back may be superficial basal cell carcinoma. They grow slowly.
  • A basal cell carcinoma is a raised, smooth, pearly bump.
  • Bumps can be seen on the skin of the head, neck, or shoulders, which has been widely exposed to the sun.
  • Small blood vessels can be easily seen inside the tumor.
  • Some patients may develop a frequent central depression accompanied with crusting and bleeding.
  • A sore that does not heal may be a symptom of basal cell carcinoma.

Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma

The best way to diagnose the basal cell carcinoma is biopsy. All or part of the growth is removed and examined in a lab. It is done by scraping a small part of skin from area of the growth. It is examined to find out any cancerous growth in the area.

Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma