Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer. These skin cancers arise from the basal layer of the skin and occur due to uncontrolled growth of the basal cells secondary to DNA damage – with UV radiation being the main cause.
BCCs can appear as open sores, red patches (often mistake for eczema or dermatitis), pink growths, or shiny bumps that may look like pimples. At times, BCCs may ooze, crust, itch or bleed. They can be distinguished from normal sores as BCCs do not usually heal. On dermoscopy, they often have arborizing blood vessels that are visible. BCCs commonly arise in sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, chest and arms.
The mainstay of treatment of BCCs is with excision of the lesion. If very superficial, topical treatments may be used.
When left untreated, BCCs can become disfiguring and possibly dangerous. Although they grow slowly and are not as dangerous as SCCs or melanoma, they will invade locally – growing wider and deeper. First into the fatty layer of the skin, then muscle, blood vessels and bone. Early detection of BCCs via a skin check will give you the best outcome.