Basal cell carcinoma
- Superficial BCC - This variant often present with multiple lesions, typically on the upper trunk or shoulders. They are red, shiny patches with a slight scale that tend to grow slowly and bleed easily.
- Morpheaform or sclerosing BCC - This is the most difficult type to diagnose since it looks like a skin-colored or pale, waxy, thickened scar. It is prone to recur, even after apparently adequate surgery.
- Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is thought to be the major risk factor for BCC and most other skin cancers. This is because UV can damage the DNA carried by skin cells causing them to grow and divide uncontrollably. Sunlight and tanning beds are the main sources of UV radiation. People with excessive and unprotected exposure, people with a dark complexion, individuals with pale skin, with red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes and who are tan-resistant and burn easily, are particularly at risk of developing BCC.
- Men are 50% more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than women. This is thought to be mainly because men are more exposed to the sun (outdoor labor).
- Family history also plays a role in the development of skin cancers. This is partly because complexion is largely genetically determined.
- An irregular shaped white or yellow waxy scar on sun exposed skin.
- A reddish spot with or without irritation mostly on hands and legs.
- A sore which is open for more than three weeks. Sometimes such sores can bleed or ooze out some fluid.
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