The Most Common Type of Skin Cancer

Doctor Examining Businessman With Dermoscope


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer, with diagnoses of an estimated 2.8 million cases in the United States annually. This type of skin cancer arises from the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). BCC is seldom life-threatening, but it can be disfiguring if allowed to grow untreated.


As a result of cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and intense occasional UV exposure, open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars may develop, but they rarely spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Basal cell carcinoma is first noticed when abnormal growths or lesions can be seen on the surface of the skin. Regular body scans by a board-certified dermatologist will aid in the detection of these growths before they are too large to be removed without causing disfigurement.


“Mohs surgery” is viewed as the most effective treatment for BCC because it spares healthy skin. Mohs surgery involves removing diseased skin layer by layer and microscopically examining each removed layer until the cancer cells have been totally excised.



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