Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer. BCC tumors typically appear on sun-exposed skin, are slow growing, and rarely metastasize. Symptoms include an open sore that bleeds, oozes, or crusts; a reddish patch or irritated area; or a shiny bump or nodule that may be translucent or any other color.
Tiny blood vessels may develop on the surface or scar-like white, yellow, or waxy areas. The highest rates of skin cancer occur in areas that receive high amounts of UV radiation. The exact cause of basal cell carcinoma is unknown. Environmental factors that are believed to predispose patients to BCC include exposure to sunlight or artificial UV, overexposure to x-rays or other forms of radiation, immunosuppression, and fair skin. There are genetic variants that confer a significant risk of developing BCC.
Almost all BCCs can be treated and cured, mostly with a simple operation or other simple technique. People who have had one skin cancer have an increased risk of developing another one in the future.