Basal Cell Carcinoma

What is BCC?

Basal Cell Carcinomas are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). BCCs often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars and are usually caused by a combination of cumulative and intense, occasional sun exposure.

BCC almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, though: it can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.

More than 4 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. In fact, BCC is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers also in Cyprus. More than one out of every three new cancers is a skin cancer, and the vast majority are BCCs.

The major causes:

Both long-term sun exposure over your lifetime and occasional extended, intense exposure (typically leading to sunburn) combine to cause damage that can lead to BCC. Almost all BCCs occur on parts of the body excessively exposed to the sun — especially the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back. On rare occasions, however, skin cancer develop on unexposed areas. In a few cases, contact with arsenic, exposure to radiation, open sores that resist healing, chronic inflammatory skin conditions, and complications of burns, scars, infections, vaccinations, or even tattoos are contributing factors. 

Who gets it?

Anyone with a history of sun exposure can develop BCC. However, people who are at highest risk have fair skin, blond or red hair, and blue, green, or grey eyes. The tendency to develop BCC may also be inherited. Those most often affected are older people, but as the number of new cases has increased sharply each year in the last few decades, the average age of patients at onset has steadily decreased in Cyprus. The disease is rarely seen in children, but occasionally a teenager is affected. 

Risk of recurrence:

People who have had one BCC are at risk for developing others over the years, either in the same area or elsewhere on the body. Therefore, regular visits to a specialist should be routine so that not only the site(s) previously treated, but the entire skin surface can be examined. BCCs on the scalp and nose are especially troublesome, with recurrences typically taking place within the first two years following surgery. Should a skin cancer recur, the plastic surgeon might recommend a different type of treatment. Some methods, such as Mohs micrographic surgery, may be highly effective for recurrences.

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©2018 Plastic Surger. All rights reserved.
Created by fosetico. Powered by CloudCMS.