Basal Cell Carcinoma
(non-melanoma skin cancer)
Basal Cell Carcinomas accounts for about 70% of non-melanoma skin cancers!
It begins in the lower layer of the epidermis (top, outer layer of the skin). It can appear anywhere on the body but most commonly develops on parts of the body that receive high er intermittent sun exposure (head, face, neck, shoulders and back).
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) symptoms
BCC often has no symptoms and tends to grow slowly without spreading to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of BCC may include:
a pearly lump
a scaly, dry area that is shiny and pale or bright pink in colour.
Causes of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
Skin Cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example, by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Between 95% and 99% of Skin Cancers in Australia are caused by exposure to the sun. The risk of Skin Cancer is increased for people who have:
increased numbers of unusual moles (dysplastic naevi)
fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, freckles, light eye colour, light or red hair colour
had a previous Skin Cancer.
Diagnosis for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
If you notice any significant changes to your skin, your doctor may examine you. Diagnosis is by biopsy (removal of a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope).
Treatment for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
The type of treatment depends on the type and size of the Cancer and where it is located.
Avoid sunburn by minimising sin exposure when the SunSmart UV Index exceeds 3 and especially in the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense. Seek shade, wear a hat that covers the head, neck and ears, wear sun protective clothing and close-fitting sunglasses and wear an SPF 30+ sunscreen.