Basal cell carcinoma

Most common on parts exposed to the sun.

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common form of skin cancer, a non-melanoma skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas are usually painless and are often detected in the form of a scab that sometimes bleeds and doesn’t heal completely. Some basal cell carcinomas may be superficial and look like scaly, red flat marks, while some have a crater shape with a pearl-like edge. Nodular basal cell carcinomas are relatively lumpy, with one or more shiny nodules containing small, but easily visible blood vessels.

The most common cause of basal cell carcinoma is excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Basal cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on your body but are most common on parts exposed to the sun such as the face, head, neck and ears.

Did you know that basal cell carcinoma is caused by prolonged exposure to UV and sunlight? Even if you are very careful in the sun today, it’s the cumulative amount of time in the sun during your life that has caused your skin changes. Sun exposure doesn’t just mean time on the beach, but all the time you’ve spent in the sun. A bike ride, skiing or gardening are also examples of sun exposure.