Basal Cell Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, And Tips To Reduce Risk

Basal Cell Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, And Tips To Reduce Risk

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells.

It often appears as a slightly transparent bump on the skin, though it can take other forms.

Most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight.


Basal cell carcinoma appears as a change in the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won't heal. These changes usually have one of the following characteristics:

  • A pearly white, skin-colored or pink bump
  • A brown, black or blue lesion
  • A brown, black or blue lesion
  • white, waxy, scar-like lesion

When To See A doctor?

Make an appointment with your doctor if you observe changes in the appearance of your skin, such as a new growth, a change in a previous growth, or a recurring sore.


Basal cell carcinoma occurs when one of the skin's basal cells develops a mutation in its DNA. Much of the damage to DNA in basal cells is thought to result from ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight and in commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds.

Factors that increase your risk of basal cell carcinoma include:

  • Chronic sun exposure
  • Radiation therapy
  • Fair skin
  • Increasing age
  • A personal or family history of skin cancer
  • Immune-suppressing drugs
  • Exposure to arsenic
  • Certain rare genetic diseases can increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma, including nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (Gorlin-Goltz syndrome) and xeroderma pigmentosum.

What Are Complications Associated With Basal Cell Carcinoma?

  • Basal cell carcinomas commonly recur, even after successful treatment.
  • A history of basal cell carcinoma may also increase the chance of developing other types of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Very rarely, basal cell carcinoma can spread (metastasize) to nearby lymph nodes and other areas of the body, such as the bones and lungs.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day.
  • Wear sunscreen year-round.
  • Wear protective clothing
  • avoid tanning beds
  • Check your skin regularly and report changes to your doctor


The goal of treatment for basal cell carcinoma is to remove cancer completely- Options might include:

  1. Surgical excision
  2. Mohs surgery
  3. Curettage and electrodesiccation
  4. Radiation therapy
  5. Freezing
  6. Topical treatments
  7. Photodynamic therapy
  8. Chemotherapy
  9. targeted therapy