Basal cell carcinoma

What it is:

Basal cell carcinoma, or BCC, is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth or lesion that arises in your skin’s basal cells—the deepest layer of the epidermis. BCC is a non-melanoma skin cancer.

BCCs look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. They are usually caused by sun exposure. 

As long as they are treated, BCC does not usually spread, but are serious and can be disfiguring if not removed quickly. Having regular skin checks is key to early detection.


BCCs are diagnosed with a biopsy. Depending on how the BCC presents and the needs of the patient, the BCC can be removed surgically, treated with radiation, cryosurgery (freezing), or photodynamic therapy; or topical or oral medications.