Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It is locally aggressive and generally does not metastasize. They often are pearly plaques, and have been described as “rodent ulcers” such as the first image demonstrates with a classic central area of ulceration and rolled pearly margins.
The second image is a pigmented basal cell carcinoma involving the helical rim of the ear. You can see how these can be confused for melanoma by many. A biopsy will differentiate them.
If neglected these tumors can become quite large, as demonstrated by this fungating mass involving the left shoulder of this patient. Long standing sun-exposure predisposes patients to developing these malignancies and thus the most common areas of involvement are sun-exposed areas. Patients that have one BCC are at a 5-6 fold risk of developing others. Histology shows typical basaloid proliferations, as shown above. A variety of treatment options are available but surgical excision is the most common form of treatment. For more information on BCCs click HERE.