Saturday, October 11, 2014

Basal cell carcinoma: Introduction

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common form of skin cancer that you need to know about. Over 2.8 million people are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma annually (in the United States alone), and that number is only going to increase as the years go by. Basal cell carcinomas occur in the basal cell layer of the skin and are primarily caused by sun exposure.

There are many different looks to basal cell cancers; sometimes they may just look like regular moles on the skin. They don’t have clear-cut identifying markers, like, for instance a melanoma. Unlike this deadly form of skin cancer (melanoma), basal cell carcinomas rarely spread to other parts of the body. The most common area for this type of skin cancer to surface is the face, ears, even the scalp. They also can appear on the upper part of the back and chest. Sometimes the spots can bleed, and as you will read, left untreated basal cell carcinomas can become disfiguring.

I hope you understand the importance of getting funny-looking moles or places on your face (or anywhere) you have questions about checked by your dermatologist. The key is to listen to your intuition and don’t be reluctant to get things checked out.

Don’t have a skin doctor? Click on American Academy of Dermatology to get some ideas on finding one in your area. Remember: Don’t wait—get your moles checked today!

For more information, see: