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  • Basal cell carcinoma - Animation

    Basal cell carcinoma

    Animation

  • Basal cell carcinoma - Animation

    If you're like many Americans, you've spent hours in the sun trying to get the perfect, golden tan. But tanning has its downsides, including an increased risk of skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma. Most people who get skin cancer have the basal cell carcinoma form. The good news is that this type of skin cancer grows very slowly compared to the more dangerous melanoma type. The bad news is, it's still cancer. You're more likely to get basal cell carcinoma on the parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun, like your scalp, if you don't wear a hat when you go outside. People who are fair-skinned, with blond hair and blue eyes are also at greater risk for skin cancer than those with darker skin. To find out if you may have basal cell carcinoma, first, do a skin check. Look in a mirror and check your body for any bumps that look white, pink, or brown, or that have crusted over and bleed but don't heal. If you spot anything unusual on your skin, see your dermatologist. The doctor can perform a biopsy removing some or all of the growth and sending it to a lab where it can be checked for cancer. Basal cell carcinoma doesn't grow very quickly, and it's not likely to spread. Your doctor should be able to remove the bumps by cutting, scraping, or freezing it off. Once the cancer is removed, there's a good chance you'll be cured. But because skin cancer can come back, you always want to keep a close eye on your skin, and call your doctor if you notice any new growths. A lot of diseases are beyond your control, but skin cancer is one condition you do have some control over. The best way to avoid getting it is to stop sun worshipping. Seek shade during the hours when the sun is strongest, usually from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. and especially during the summer months. If you have to be outside during the middle of the day, slather on a thick layer of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply it often if you're in the water where the sunscreen can wash off. Also wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves. If you want a healthy glow, get one from a bottle. Rubbing on a tanning cream is safer than exposing your skin to the sun.

  • Squamous cell cancer

    Squamous cell cancer

    Squamous cell cancer involves cancerous changes to the cells of the middle portion of the epidermal skin layer. It is a malignant tumor, and is more aggressive than basal cell cancer, but still may be relatively slow-growing. It is more likely than basal cell cancer to spread (metastasize) to other locations, including internal organs. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the tumor along with some surrounding tissue.

    Squamous cell cancer

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    The typical basal cell skin cancer appears as a small, pearly, dome-shaped nodule with small visible blood vessels (telangiectasias).

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    illustration

  • Basal cell cancer

    Basal cell cancer

    Basal cell cancer is a malignant skin tumor involving cancerous changes of basal skin cells. Basal cell skin cancers usually occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. Once a suspicious lesion is found, a biopsy is needed to prove the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. Treatment varies depending on the size, depth, and location of the cancer. Early treatment by a dermatologist may result in a cure rate of more than 95%, but regular examination by a health care provider is required to watch for new sites of basal cell cancer.

    Basal cell cancer

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    This skin cancer appears as a 2 to 3 centimeter skin spot. The tissue has become destroyed (forming an atrophic plaque). There is a brownish color because of increased skin pigment (hyperpigmentation) and a slightly elevated, rolled, pearl-colored margin. This growth is located along the hair line.

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    This skin cancer appears as a 1 to 1. 5 centimeter flesh-colored nodule with a central depression and a raised, pearly border. Small blood vessels are visible (telangiectatic).

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    illustration

  • Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    Basal cell carcinomas are more prevalent on sun or radiation exposed areas of skin. Here the typical lesion with raised, rolled, pearly borders with ulcerated center is seen on the back of a person previously irradiated for acne.

    Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    illustration

  • Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    This is a picture of squamous cell skin cancer on the hands. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the three most common types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

    Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    illustration

  • Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    Basal cell nevus syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by wide-set eyes, saddle nose, frontal bossing (prominent forehead), prognathism (prominent chin), numerous basal cell carcinomas (a type of skin cancer), and skeletal abnormalities. This individual has multiple flesh-colored, dome-shaped bumps on the face which are basal cell cancers, and palmar pits.

    Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    This skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma, is 5 to 6 centimeters across, red (erythematous), with well defined (demarcated) borders and sprinkled brown pigment along the margins. This cancer is located on the person's back.

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the three most common types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

    Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    illustration

  • Basal cell carcinoma - Animation

    Basal cell carcinoma

    Animation

  • Basal cell carcinoma - Animation

    If you're like many Americans, you've spent hours in the sun trying to get the perfect, golden tan. But tanning has its downsides, including an increased risk of skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma. Most people who get skin cancer have the basal cell carcinoma form. The good news is that this type of skin cancer grows very slowly compared to the more dangerous melanoma type. The bad news is, it's still cancer. You're more likely to get basal cell carcinoma on the parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun, like your scalp, if you don't wear a hat when you go outside. People who are fair-skinned, with blond hair and blue eyes are also at greater risk for skin cancer than those with darker skin. To find out if you may have basal cell carcinoma, first, do a skin check. Look in a mirror and check your body for any bumps that look white, pink, or brown, or that have crusted over and bleed but don't heal. If you spot anything unusual on your skin, see your dermatologist. The doctor can perform a biopsy removing some or all of the growth and sending it to a lab where it can be checked for cancer. Basal cell carcinoma doesn't grow very quickly, and it's not likely to spread. Your doctor should be able to remove the bumps by cutting, scraping, or freezing it off. Once the cancer is removed, there's a good chance you'll be cured. But because skin cancer can come back, you always want to keep a close eye on your skin, and call your doctor if you notice any new growths. A lot of diseases are beyond your control, but skin cancer is one condition you do have some control over. The best way to avoid getting it is to stop sun worshipping. Seek shade during the hours when the sun is strongest, usually from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. and especially during the summer months. If you have to be outside during the middle of the day, slather on a thick layer of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply it often if you're in the water where the sunscreen can wash off. Also wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves. If you want a healthy glow, get one from a bottle. Rubbing on a tanning cream is safer than exposing your skin to the sun.

  • Squamous cell cancer

    Squamous cell cancer

    Squamous cell cancer involves cancerous changes to the cells of the middle portion of the epidermal skin layer. It is a malignant tumor, and is more aggressive than basal cell cancer, but still may be relatively slow-growing. It is more likely than basal cell cancer to spread (metastasize) to other locations, including internal organs. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the tumor along with some surrounding tissue.

    Squamous cell cancer

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    The typical basal cell skin cancer appears as a small, pearly, dome-shaped nodule with small visible blood vessels (telangiectasias).

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - nose

    illustration

  • Basal cell cancer

    Basal cell cancer

    Basal cell cancer is a malignant skin tumor involving cancerous changes of basal skin cells. Basal cell skin cancers usually occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. Once a suspicious lesion is found, a biopsy is needed to prove the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. Treatment varies depending on the size, depth, and location of the cancer. Early treatment by a dermatologist may result in a cure rate of more than 95%, but regular examination by a health care provider is required to watch for new sites of basal cell cancer.

    Basal cell cancer

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    This skin cancer appears as a 2 to 3 centimeter skin spot. The tissue has become destroyed (forming an atrophic plaque). There is a brownish color because of increased skin pigment (hyperpigmentation) and a slightly elevated, rolled, pearl-colored margin. This growth is located along the hair line.

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - pigmented

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    This skin cancer appears as a 1 to 1. 5 centimeter flesh-colored nodule with a central depression and a raised, pearly border. Small blood vessels are visible (telangiectatic).

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - behind ear

    illustration

  • Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    Basal cell carcinomas are more prevalent on sun or radiation exposed areas of skin. Here the typical lesion with raised, rolled, pearly borders with ulcerated center is seen on the back of a person previously irradiated for acne.

    Multiple basal cell cancer due to x-ray therapy for acne

    illustration

  • Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    This is a picture of squamous cell skin cancer on the hands. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the three most common types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

    Skin cancer - squamous cell on the hands

    illustration

  • Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    Basal cell nevus syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by wide-set eyes, saddle nose, frontal bossing (prominent forehead), prognathism (prominent chin), numerous basal cell carcinomas (a type of skin cancer), and skeletal abnormalities. This individual has multiple flesh-colored, dome-shaped bumps on the face which are basal cell cancers, and palmar pits.

    Basal cell nevus syndrome - face and hand

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    This skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma, is 5 to 6 centimeters across, red (erythematous), with well defined (demarcated) borders and sprinkled brown pigment along the margins. This cancer is located on the person's back.

    Skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma - spreading

    illustration

  • Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the three most common types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

    Skin cancer, squamous cell - close-up

    illustration

Review Date: 7/12/2019

Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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