Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer, making up approximately 70% of all non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia.
They stem from the deepest layer of the skin’s epidermis (see image) and are generally found on areas of the body exposed to direct sunlight, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp etc.
A Basal Cell Carcinoma is often confused as a skin irritation or sore due to its appearance, which is generally a pearly pink or flesh coloured small lump. Alternatively, it can appear as a scaly/dry but shiny patch of skin that can vary in colour from pale pink to red. These lesions have been known to become ulcerated, inflamed and bleed at times.
The good news is, a Basal Cell Carcinoma is highly treatable, they rarely metastasis and whilst they have been known to spread, it is generally within the localised area. Having said this, if left untreated, they can create a painful, unsightly sore that can impact quality of life.
There are three types of Basal Cell Carcinoma – Superficial, Nodular and Infiltrating.
SUPERFICIAL: are confined to the very top layer of the skin so are often more easily treated. They can however, become relatively broad in size.
NODULAR: usually appear as a rounded lump on the skin. Compared with others, these are less likely to extend under the surface of the skin.
INFILTRATING: often the most difficult due to the fact they are hard to see and are often not detected until in the more advanced stages.
Make sure you get to know your skin and any of its anomalies. If you’re uncertain, concerned about something or notice a change make sure you have it checked out by your doctor immediately.