Basal Cell Skin Cancer

What is Basal Cell Skin Cancer?

Basal cell skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer seen in New Zealand. Basal cell skin cancer is most commonly found on sun exposed areas, especially the face. Basal cell skin cancer arises from the basal cells in the skin being damaged by ultraviolet light.

The classic appearance is of a raised translucent lump on the skin, which is often flesh coloured. These generally grow slowly and initially may easily be mistaken for benign growths. The cardinal signs, however, are of a non-healing bleeding lump on the skin, which never heals and ever so slowly increases in size. Any spot with these features should be checked by a dermatologist as soon as possible.

Basal cell carcinoma is a locally invading tumour and is rarely life threatening. Early diagnosis is important to ensure the most effective and least evasive treatment.