Basal cell skin cancer (carcinoma) most often appears on areas of
the body that have been exposed to the sun, such as the head, face, neck, back,
chest, or shoulders. Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly and does not usually
spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).
Basal cell skin carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in
light-skinned people. It is rare in people who have dark skin.
Signs and symptoms may include:
A small, fleshy bump with a smooth, pearly
appearance, often with an indentation in the middle.
A lesion that looks like a scar and is firm to the touch.
A bump that bleeds, crusts over,
and then repeats the cycle.
A red, tender, flat spot that bleeds
Tiny blood vessels in thin red lines with a spiderlike
Treatment for a basal cell cancer is usually surgery to remove the
lesion. If the cancer cannot be cut out, it may be treated with radiation, pills, or creams containing medicines. Most basal
cell skin cancers can be cured, but some may return after treatment.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.