What is a basal cell carcinoma?

A basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.  It is sometimes also called a rodent ulcer.


What causes basal cell carcinoma?

The most common cause of basal cell carcinomas is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or from sun beds. Basal cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on your body such as your face, head, neck and ears. It is also possible for a basal cell carcinoma to develop where burns, scars or ulcers have damaged the skin. 

Those with the highest risk of developing a basal cell carcinoma are:
  • People with freckles or with pale skin and blond or red hair.
  • People who have had a lot of exposure to the sun and who have lived in sunny climates.
  • People who use sun beds.
  • People who have previously had a basal cell carcinoma.


How can a basal cell carcinoma be treated?

The most common treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is surgery. Generally, this means cutting away the BCC,  using local anaesthetic to numb the skin.  Sometimes, a small skin graft is needed.

 Basal cell carinoma