Basal Cell Carcinomas

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This is a common form of skin cancer and the most common form of all cancers.

Risk factors

Endogenous : age
Exogenous : exposure to the sun.

In some cases it may also be caused by exposure to ionizing rays and complications with chronic wounds caused by arsenic.


Basal Cell Carcinomas can occur in 5 different forms:

- nodular
- ulcerous
- nodular and ulcerous
- morphea-like
- pigmentation

In the first stages of its evolution the carcinoma looks like an insignificant small mark with a little wound which disappears of its own accord.

The mark evolves by repeatedly returning at the very same place but becoming increasingly larger; it will disappear again only to return a few weeks later.

After a couple of years the mark will no longer disappear and will gradually increase in size.

The overall majority of these marks occur on parts of the body which are frequently exposed to the sun, especially the face.

These marks may be locally quite aggressive but do not cause any secondaries.

A thorough examination of face and neck with a dermoscope gives an accurate reading of the marks and allows for establishment of the typical characteristics of these carcinomas.


Treatment is mainly surgical. Depending on the location and the size, the surgical intervention can be combined with an instant investigation of the margins of the removed tumour by means of a microscope.

This investigation will confirm during surgery whether all cells have been removed.

Chemo-therapy is not required.

Alternatives to surgery are radiotherapy, cryotherapy and cauterisation. None of these treatments can guarantee a 100% cure.