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Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. They occur most frequently on light skinned persons in areas of frequent sun exposure. BCCs grow slowly and typically do not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. However, if left untreated, BCCs can cause damage to surrounding tissue and even disfigurement. 

How to recognize a Basal Cell Carcinoma

Patients often describe the appearance of a ‘pimple’ that may bleed and does not heal.   The most common type of basal cell carcinoma looks like a translucent fleshy bump with prominent blood vessels, often with crusting or bleeding (Figure 1 and 2). BCCs may also look like a flat white patch or area of scar (Figure 3)

Figure 1.  Typical appearance of a basal cell carcinoma.  Pearly flesh colored bump with prominent small blood vessels.


Figure 2. Basal cell carcinoma may crust and bleed.



Figure 3. Basal cell carcinoma, infiltrating type with scar like appearance.