What Is… Basal Cell Carcinoma

faqA basal cell carcinoma (also referred to as ‘rodent ulcers’) is a non-melanoma type of skin cancer. It is the most common type accounting for more than 4 out of 5 of all skin cancers in the UK.

The commonest cause of basal cell carcinoma is over-exposure to the sun or sunbeds, which expose the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light, which is why they most commonly appear on the hands, face, neck or ears (although they could appear anywhere on the body).

Basal cell carcinoma can also appear where burns, scars or ulcers have damaged the skin.

Detecting Basal Cell Carcinoma

  • Basal cell carcinomas are usually painless
  • They often first appear as a scab that bleeds occasionally and does not heal completely
  • Some look like a scaly red flat mark, others have a pearl-like rim and a crater-like centre (if left for years, these can erode the skin causing an ulcer). Other basal cell carcinomas are quite lumpy, with one or more shiny nodules crossed by small but easily seen blood vessels.

Skilled and experienced doctors may be able to diagnose from appearance. Otherwise a biopsy may be required.

Who’s At Risk

Nobody is ‘immune’ to basal cell carcinoma, but they are known to affect the following groups more often:

  • Fair skinned adults
  • More men than women
  • People with freckles or with pale skin and blond or red hair. 
  • Those who have had a lot of exposure to the sun 
  • Sunbed users
  • People who have previously had a basal cell carcinoma. 

They are NOT infectious and NOT hereditary.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment

The commonest treatment for basal cell carcinoma is surgery, cutting or lasering away the area leaving healthy skin.

Mole Removal Surgery

Doctors at Mole Clinics offer laser surgery as well as excision techniques for larger lesions. At Mole Clinics, all removed moles are sent away for testing and a report given for peace of mind.

Private Mole Removal

Cosmedics Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.