Close
New

Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.

 

Basal Cell Carcinoma Workup

  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
 
Updated: Sep 15, 2015
 

Approach Considerations

Given that basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes, laboratory and imaging studies are not commonly clinically indicated in patients presenting with localized lesions. Imaging studies may be necessary when involvement of deeper structures, such as bone, is clinically suspected. In such cases, CT scans or radiography can be used.

Next

Skin Biopsy

A skin biopsy is often required to confirm the diagnosis and determine the histologic subtype of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Most often, a shave biopsy is all that is required. Nevertheless, in the case of a pigmented lesion where there may be difficulty distinguishing between pigmented BCC and melanoma, an excisional or punch biopsy may be indicated; this is to ensure that the depth of the lesion can be determined if it proves to be a malignant melanoma.

In most cases, a superficial biopsy specimen that contains dermis is all that is required to confirm the diagnosis of BCC, although it is possible to miss the tumor. For example, an ulcerated BCC may reepithelialize with normal epidermis while tumor is still present at a deeper level. Part or all of the BCC may be sampled, but avoid going beyond the clinical margins if the biopsy is only for diagnostic purposes.

Punch biopsy is an easy method to obtain a thick specimen, but is rarely required. The most suspicious area of a lesion may be sampled, or multiple biopsy samples may be taken if the tumor is large or has a varied appearance in different areas. Avoid punch biopsy if curettage is planned for final treatment.

Occasionally, suspected tumors may require more than a single biopsy to make the diagnosis; therefore, with a high clinical index of suspicion, a second biopsy may be needed to obtain a pathological diagnosis of BCC.

Previous
Next

Cytology

To accurately and definitively diagnose BCC of the eyelid, histological confirmation is required and is most commonly obtained through excisional (shave or punch) biopsy, which provides more information regarding the histological subtype of BCC. Cytology does provide a rapid alternative that may yield and even help confirm a diagnosis during the initial visit, however.

The accuracy of this technique has been reported to be good, but its sensitivity in diagnosing BCC of the eyelid is unknown. It is not considered to be sufficiently sensitive in planning surgical management.

A study by Barton et al showed that for patients who underwent cytology followed by excisional biopsy, cytology had a sensitivity of 92% in diagnosing BCC with a predictive accuracy of 75%.[57] These values were compared to a second group of patients who had incisional biopsy and histological examination followed by excision with histological confirmation. The second group showed a sensitivity of 100% in diagnosing BCC with a predictive accuracy of 96%.

Previous
Next

Histologic Findings

Several histologic types of BCC exist. Distinctions are important because clinical detection of tumor margins is more difficult with certain histologic types.[58] Usually, BCCs are well differentiated and cells appear histologically similar to basal cells of the epidermis.

Tumor cells of nodular BCC, sometimes called basalioma cells, typically have large, hyperchromatic, oval nuclei and little cytoplasm. Cells appear uniform, and if present, mitotic figures are usually few. The nuclei resemble that of the basal cells of the epidermis, although they have a larger nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio and lack intercellular bridges. A mitotic figure is very rarely observed. Nodular tumor aggregates may be of varying sizes, but tumor cells tend to align more densely in a palisade pattern at the periphery of these nests (see the image below).

Nodular basal cell carcinoma. Nodular aggregates o Nodular basal cell carcinoma. Nodular aggregates of basalioma cells are present in the dermis and exhibit peripheral palisading and retraction artifact. Melanin is also present within the tumor and in the surrounding stroma, as seen in pigmented basal cell carcinoma.

Cleft formation, known as retraction artifact, commonly occurs between BCC nests and stroma because of shrinkage of mucin during tissue fixation and staining. Some lobules may have areas of pseudoglandular change, and this is the predominant change in adenoid BCC. In other instances, large tumor lobules may degenerate centrally, forming pseudocystic spaces filled with mucinous debris. These changes are seen in the nodulocystic variant of BCC.

Early lesions usually have some connection to the overlying epidermis, but such contiguity may be difficult to appreciate in more advanced lesions. Increased mucin is often present in the surrounding dermal stroma.

A histopathologic examination of paraffin-embedded sections of BCC usually reveals solid cellular strands, collections of cells with dark-staining nuclei and scant cytoplasm.

The peripheral cell mass is in a palisade arrangement that resembles the basal layer of the epidermis, sometimes with pseudocystic aspects, and with a variable number of mitoses.

The connective tissue stroma surrounding the tumor islands is arranged in parallel bundles and often shows young fibroblasts immediately adjacent to the tumor. The specific histologic pattern of each type of BCC varies in terms of desmoplastic reaction of the morpheaform type and in the stromal islands separated by basal cells strands of the fibroepithelial type. Artificial retraction of the stroma from the tumor islands is frequently observed histologically. Additionally, the stroma is often mucinous. Cells from recurrent BCC often show squamous aspects.

Histologically, BCC is divided into 2 categories: undifferentiated and differentiated. When there is little or no differentiation, it is referred to as solid BCC and includes pigmented BCC, superficial BCC, sclerosing BCC, and infiltrative BCC (a histologic subtype).

Differentiated BCC often has slight differentiation toward cutaneous appendages, including hair (keratotic BCC), sebaceous glands (BCC with sebaceous differentiation), or tubular glands (adenoid BCC). Noduloulcerative (nodular) BCC is usually differentiated. See the images below.

Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal cell carcinoma (original magnification X140). (Image courtesy of Prof Pantaleo Bufo, University of Foggia, Italy)
Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal cell carcinoma (original magnification X250). (Image courtesy of Prof Pantaleo Bufo, University of Foggia, Italy)
Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal cell carcinoma (original magnification X250). (Image courtesy of Prof Pantaleo Bufo, University of Foggia, Italy)

When the presence of a dense inflammatory infiltrate obscures the histologic margins of BCC, immunohistochemical stains for cytokeratins can help to identify tumor cells. These stains can be used with fixed or frozen tissue. Such staining with frozen tissue can take as little as 19 minutes, making it practical for use with Mohs micrographic surgery or with standard excision with frozen section margin control.[59]

Nodular basal cell carcinoma

Nodular or noduloulcerative basal cell carcinoma, the most common type, generally consists of large, round or oval tumor islands within the dermis, often with an epidermal attachment. The solid (nodular) type accounts for approximately 70% of all cases. Artificial retraction of the tumor islands from the surrounding stroma is commonly seen. Ulcerations may be seen in large tumors.

Micronodular basal cell carcinoma

Another aggressive variant, micronodular BCC, appears as small, nodular aggregates of basaloid cells. See the image below.

Micronodular basal cell carcinoma often has an abs Micronodular basal cell carcinoma often has an absence of retraction artifact. The characteristic histology is small size and uniformity of the tumor nodules. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)

Retraction artifact tends to be less pronounced than in the nodular form of BCC, and subclinical involvement is often significant. Micronodular basal cell carcinoma is similar to the noduloulcerative type, although the tumor islands are small (often < 15 cells in diameter).

Pigmented basal cell carcinoma

In pigmented basal cell carcinoma (BCC), benign melanocytes in and around the tumor produce large amounts of melanin. These melanocytes contain many melanin granules in their cytoplasm and dendrites. Superficial BCC (see the image below) appears as buds of basaloid cells attached to the undersurface of the epidermis. Nests of various sizes are often seen in the upper dermis. The tumor cell aggregates typically show peripheral palisading.

Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nes Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nests of basaloid cells are seen budding from the undersurface of the epidermis. (Image courtesy of Michael L Ramsey, MD)

Adenoid basal cell carcinoma

The adenoid type consists of strands of basaloid cells in a reticulate pattern, frequently with prominent stromal mucin. It may occur with the solid type.

Morpheaform (sclerosing) basal cell carcinoma

The more aggressive morpheaform BCCs have growth patterns resulting in strands of cells rather than round nests, within a fibrous stroma. They constitute approximately 5% of BCCs. Morpheaform BCC arises as thin strands of tumor cells (often only 1 cell in thickness) that are embedded in a dense fibrous stroma. The morpheaform basal cell carcinomas exhibit islands of tumor extending into the tissue and may exhibit perineural invasion in 3% of patients. This finding helps classify these 2 histotypes as the most aggressive, with the highest rates of recurrence and positive margins after excision.

Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma

This type of BCC accounts for 10% of BCCs. Tumor cells have growth patterns resulting in strands of cells infiltrating between collagen bundles rather than round nests.

The strands of infiltrating BCC tend to be somewhat thicker than those seen in morpheaform BCC, and they have a spiky, irregular appearance (see the image below).

Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Tumor cells are Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Tumor cells are arranged in narrow strands, and mucin-rich stroma is often present. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)

Infiltrating BCC usually does not exhibit the scarlike stroma seen in morpheaform BCC. Peripheral palisading and retraction are less pronounced in morpheaform and infiltrating BCC than in less aggressive forms of the tumor, and subclinical involvement is often extensive.

Cystic basal cell carcinoma

Cystic basal cell carcinoma consists of large, round or oval tumor islands within the dermis with mucin present in the center of the island. This space is caused by central tumor cell degeneration.

Superficial basal cell carcinoma

The (multifocal) superficial type (see the image below) is characterized by numerous small nests of tumor cells usually attached to the undersurface of the epidermis by a broad base. Approximately 10-15% of all BCCs are of this type. This is the most common pattern seen in BCCs of the shoulder.

Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nes Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nests of basaloid cells are seen budding from the undersurface of the epidermis. (Image courtesy of Michael L Ramsey, MD)

Keratotic basal cell carcinoma

The keratotic type resembles the solid type and its nests of basaloid cells with peripheral palisading. The island centers display keratinization and squamous differentiation. See the image below.

Keratotic basal cell carcinoma. Rare type characte Keratotic basal cell carcinoma. Rare type characterized by keratocysts. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)

Infundibulocystic basal cell carcinoma

The infundibulocystic type is rare and is usually found on the face. It resembles the keratotic type. Nests are arranged in an anastomosing pattern and lack stroma. Many small, infundibular cyst-like structures with keratinous material are present. Melanin is sometimes present.

Metatypical basal cell carcinoma

Metatypical BCC is rare. In this type, nests and strands of cells mature into larger and paler cells, and peripheral palisading, if any, is less developed than in other types. Prominent stroma, prominent mitotic activity, and many apoptotic cells may be present. This form may be best diagnosed when one evaluates a BCC with features between those of a nodular BCC and squamous cell carcinoma. These tumors are often aggressive, with an increased tendency for lymphatic and perineural spread.

Basosquamous carcinoma

The basosquamous type is controversial. It has been defined as a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) with differentiation towards squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). It is made up of basaloid cells that are a larger, paler, and rounder than those of a solid BCC. It also consists of squamoid cells and intermediate cells. Some consider the diagnosis of this type most appropriate when one evaluates a tumor with contiguous areas of BCC and SCC. This type is considered to have metastatic potential and is considered an aggressive skin cancer (see the image below).

Basosquamous basal cell carcinoma. Foci of neoplas Basosquamous basal cell carcinoma. Foci of neoplastic cells with squamous differentiation are present. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)

Fibroepithelioma of Pinkus

The fibroepithelioma type consists of thin, anastomosing strands of basaloid cells in a prominent stroma.

According to some studies, the so-called fibroepithelioma of Pinkus, considered to be a premalignant skin condition, must be considered as a fenestrated variant of basal cell carcinoma.[60, 61, 62]

Previous
Next

Ultrasonography

The use of ultrasonography is controversial. High-frequency (20 MHz) and ultra-high-frequency (40-100 MHz) ultrasound systems have been used; their accuracy in delineating malignant lesions from benign lesions remains inadequate, however, with a success rate of approximately 20%. Furthermore, the claims of reliable tumor sizing and depth of invasion are promising but still passionately debated.

Laser Doppler

As an adjunct tool, laser Doppler may assist ophthalmologists in distinguishing between benign and malignant adnexal skin lesions and in establishing the tumor margin.

It is reported that cutaneous perfusion to the eyelids is statistically significantly higher than other regions of the body (eg, forearm). Furthermore, the mean perfusion in pretarsal skin has been shown to be 50% greater than that in preseptal skin. In histologically documented basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid, cutaneous perfusion was significantly greater.[63]

Previous
Next

Staging

Basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes and is usually not staged, unless the cancer is very large and is suspected of spreading to other parts of the body. BCC staging may be similar to the staging of squamous cell carcinoma, which is according to the following scheme:

  • Stage 0: Cancer involves only the epidermis and has not spread to the dermis
  • Stage I: Cancer is not large (ie, < 2 cm) and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs
  • Stage II: Cancer is large (ie, >2 cm) but has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs
  • Stage III: Cancer has spread to tissues beneath the skin (eg, muscle, bone, cartilage), and/or to regional lymph nodes but not to other organs.
  • Stage IV: Cancer can be any size and has spread to other organs

High-risk tumors

High-risk BCCs include the following:

  • Recurrent or incompletely excised BCC
  • Primary BCC with clinically indistinct borders
  • Lesions in high-risk (the H, or mask) areas, mainly the embryonic fusion planes (eg, eyelids, nose, ear, nasolabial folds, upper lip, vermillion border, columella, periorbital region, temples, preauricular and postauricular areas, and scalp)
  • Lesions that develop in cosmetically and functionally important areas (eg, face, genitals, anal and perianal regions, hands and feet, and the nail unit areas)
  • Tumors with aggressive clinical behavior (ie, growing rapidly or >2 cm)
  • Tumors with aggressive histologic subtype, including sclerosing (morpheaform), basosquamous (metatypical or keratinizing), perineural, periappendageal, or perivascular invasion, infiltrating, adenoidal, or multicentric
  • Tumors that develop in sites with previous radiation therapy
  • Tumors that develop in immunosuppressed patients
Previous
 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Robert S Bader, MD Dermatologist, Section of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Broward Health - North

Robert S Bader, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Florida Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Andrew Scott Kennedy, MD Physician-in-Chief, Radiation Oncology

Andrew Scott Kennedy, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Radiation Oncology, Radiological Society of North America, Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Luigi Santacroce, MD Assistant Professor, Medical School, State University at Bari, Italy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Laura Diomede University of Bari School of Medicine, Italy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Sanjiv S Agarwala, MD Chief of Oncology and Hematology, St Luke's Cancer Center, St Luke's Hospital and Health Network; Professor, Temple University School of Medicine

Sanjiv S Agarwala, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Head and Neck Surgery, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and European Society for Medical Oncology

Disclosure: BMS Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Novartis Consulting fee Consulting; Merck Consulting fee Consulting

Michael Giono Barakat California Surgical Institute

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Daniel Berg, MD, FRCP(C) Professor of Dermatology, Director of Dermatologic Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine

Daniel Berg, MD, FRCP(C) is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology, and American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Disclosure: Genentech Honoraria Review panel membership

Gregory Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS Chief Surgeon, Aesthetica Plastic and Laser Surgery Center, Inc

Gregory Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, International College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons US Section, Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, and Wound Healing Society

Disclosure: Syneron Corporation Salary Speaking and teaching

Edward F Chan, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Edward F Chan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, and Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Robert A Copeland Jr, MD Chair, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Howard University College of Medicine

Robert A Copeland Jr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Mark T Duffy, MD, PhD Consulting Staff, Division of Oculoplastic, Orbito-facial, Lacrimal and Reconstructive Surgery, Green Bay Eye Clinic, BayCare Clinic; Medical Director, Advanced Cosmetic Solutions, A BayCare Clinic

Mark T Duffy, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Sigma Xi, and Society for Neuroscience

Disclosure: Allergan - Botox Cosmetic Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Hon-Vu Q Duong, MD Clinical Instructor of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Pathology, Westfield-Nevada Eye and Ear; Senior Lecturer of Neurosciences:Anatomy and Physiology, Nevada State College

Hon-Vu Q Duong, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Dirk M Elston, MD Director, Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology, New York

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jaime R Garza, MD, DDS, FACS Consulting Staff, Private Practice

Jaime R Garza, MD, DDS, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, Texas Medical Association, and Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons

Disclosure: Allergan None Speaking and teaching; LifeCell None Consulting; GID, Inc. Grant/research funds Other

Shahin Javaheri, MD Chief, Department of Plastic Surgery, Martinez Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic; Consulting Staff, Advanced Aesthetic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Shahin Javaheri, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Shang I Brian Jiang, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and Dermatology, Director, Dermatologic and Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Program Director, UCSD Dermatologic and Mohs Surgery Fellowship, University of California School of Medicine, San Diego

Shang I Brian Jiang, MD, is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and Association of Professors of Dermatology

Disclosure: DUSA Corporation Grant/research funds PI for Industry Sponsored Clincal Trial

Klaus-Dieter Lessnau, MD, FCCP Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine; Medical Director, Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory; Director of Research in Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital

Klaus-Dieter Lessnau, MD, FCCP is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Thoracic Society, and Society of Critical Care Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA Professor of Otolaryngology, Dentistry, and Engineering, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and American Head and Neck Society

Disclosure: Covidien Corp Consulting fee Consulting; US Tobacco Corporation Unrestricted gift Unknown; Axis Three Corporation Ownership interest Consulting; Omni Biosciences Ownership interest Consulting; Sentegra Ownership interest Board membership; Medvoy Ownership interest Management position; Cerescan Imaging Consulting; Headwatersmb Consulting fee Consulting; Venturequest Royalty Consulting

Maurice Y Nahabedian, MD, FACS Associate Professor, Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital

Maurice Y Nahabedian, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Plastic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, and Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons

Disclosure: Lifecell corp Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Samia Nawaz, MBBS, MD Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Health Science Center

Samia Nawaz, MBBS, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Society of Cytopathology, and International Academy of Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Ron W Pelton, MD, PhD Private Practice, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ron W Pelton, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, AO Foundation, and Colorado Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Michael L Ramsey, MD Director, Mohs Surgery Fellowship, Co-Director, Procedural Dermatology Fellowship, Department of Dermatology, Geisinger Medical Center

Michael L Ramsey, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology, and Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Rana Rofagha Sajjadian, MD Clinical Instructor, Department of Dermatology, University of Irvine, California; Division of Mohs Surgery, Department of Dermatology, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Rana Rofagha Sajjadian, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and American Society for MOHS Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Thomas M Roy, MD Chief, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine, Quillen Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Fellowship Program Director, East Tennessee State University, James H Quillen College of Medicine

Thomas M Roy, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Thoracic Society, Southern Medical Association, and Wilderness Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

M Sherif Said, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Pathology, Director of Head and Neck Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine

M Sherif Said, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Clinical Pathology and College of American Pathologists

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS Private Practice, Newport Beach, California; Former Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery, Former Director of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Satellite Centers, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, California Medical Association, Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, and PennsylvaniaMedical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Negar Sajjadian, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Wayne Karl Stadelmann, MD Stadelmann Plastic Surgery, PC

Wayne Karl Stadelmann, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, New Hampshire Medical Society, Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Katherine Szyfelbein, MD Staff Physician, Department of Dermatology, Boston University, Boston Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

R Stan Taylor, MD The JB Howell Professor in Melanoma Education and Detection, Departments of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, Director, Skin Surgery and Oncology Clinic, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

R Stan Taylor, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, American Dermatological Association, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Christian Medical & Dental Society, and Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Image 1: Kelly Nelson (Photographer) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

References
  1. Kumar N, Saxena YK. Two cases of rare presentation of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma on the hand. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2002 Nov-Dec. 68(6):349-51. [Medline].

  2. Barry J, Oon SF, Watson R, Barnes L. The management of basal cell carcinomas. Ir Med J. 2006 Jun. 99(6):179-81. [Medline].

  3. [Guideline] Dandurand M, Petit T, Martel P, Guillot B. Management of basal cell carcinoma in adults Clinical practice guidelines. Eur J Dermatol. 2006 Jul-Aug. 16(4):394-401. [Medline].

  4. [Guideline] Trakatelli M, Morton C, Nagore E, Ulrich C, Del Marmol V, Peris K, et al. Update of the European guidelines for basal cell carcinoma management. Eur J Dermatol. 2014 May-Jun. 24 (3):312-29. [Medline].

  5. [Guideline] National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Basal Cell Skin Cancer, Version 1.2015. NCCN. Available at http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/nmsc.pdf. Accessed: July 29, 2015.

  6. Mendenhall WM, Amdur RJ, Hinerman RW, Cognetta AB, Mendenhall NP. Radiotherapy for cutaneous squamous and basal cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Laryngoscope. 2009 Oct. 119(10):1994-9. [Medline].

  7. Erba P, Farhadi J, Wettstein R, Arnold A, Harr T, Pierer G. Morphoeic basal cell carcinoma of the face. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg. 2007. 41(4):184-8. [Medline].

  8. Fresini A, Rossiello L, Severino BU, Del Prete M, Satriano RA. Giant basal cell carcinoma. Skinmed. 2007 Jul-Aug. 6(4):204-5. [Medline].

  9. Shindel AW, Mann MW, Lev RY, et al. Mohs micrographic surgery for penile cancer: management and long-term followup. J Urol. 2007 Nov. 178(5):1980-5. [Medline].

  10. Mulvany NJ, Allen DG. Differentiated intraepithelial neoplasia of the vulva. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2008 Jan. 27(1):125-35. [Medline].

  11. Cabrera HN, Cuda G, Lopez M, Costa JA. [Basal cell epithelioma of the vulva in chronic endemic regional arsenic poisoning]. Med Cutan Ibero Lat Am. 1984. 12(2):81-5. [Medline].

  12. Newman JC, Leffell DJ. Correlation of embryonic fusion planes with the anatomical distribution of basal cell carcinoma. Dermatol Surg. 2007 Aug. 33(8):957-64; discussion 965. [Medline].

  13. Cabrera HN, Gomez ML. Skin cancer induced by arsenic in the water. J Cutan Med Surg. 2003 Mar-Apr. 7(2):106-11. [Medline].

  14. Romao-Correa RF, Maria DA, Soma M, et al. Nucleolar organizer region staining patterns in paraffin-embedded tissue cells from human skin cancers. J Cutan Pathol. 2005 May. 32(5):323-8. [Medline].

  15. Ozyazgan I, Kontas O. Previous injuries or scars as risk factors for the development of basal cell carcinoma. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg. 2004. 38(1):11-5. [Medline].

  16. Mohanty P, Mohanty L, Devi BP. Multiple cutaneous malignancies in xeroderma pigmentosum. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2001 Mar-Apr. 67(2):96-7. [Medline].

  17. Keyhani K, Ashenhurst M, Oryschak A. Periocular basal cell carcinoma arising in a site of previous trauma. Can J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jun. 42(3):467-8. [Medline].

  18. Aldara cream 5% (imiquimod) [package insert]. Graceway Pharmaceuticals. 2007.

  19. Geisse J, Caro I, Lindholm J, Golitz L, Stampone P, Owens M. Imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: results from two phase III, randomized, vehicle-controlled studies. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 May. 50(5):722-33. [Medline].

  20. Sapijaszko MJ. Imiquimod 5% cream (Aldara) in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Skin Therapy Lett. 2005 Jul-Aug. 10(6):2-5. [Medline].

  21. Micali M, Nasca MR, Musumeci ML. Treatment of an extensive superficial basal cell carcinoma of the face with imiquimod 5% cream. Int J Tissue React. 2005. 27(3):111-4. [Medline].

  22. Bilu D, Sauder DN. Imiquimod: modes of action. Br J Dermatol. 2003 Nov. 149 Suppl 66:5-8. [Medline].

  23. Wuest M, Dummer R, Urosevic M. Induction of the members of Notch pathway in superficial basal cell carcinomas treated with imiquimod. Arch Dermatol Res. 2007 Dec. 299(10):493-8. [Medline].

  24. Efudex (fluorouracil) [package insert]. Valeant Pharmaceuticals. 2005.

  25. Bale AE, Yu KP. The hedgehog pathway and basal cell carcinomas. Hum Mol Genet. 2001 Apr. 10(7):757-62. [Medline].

  26. Wicking C, McGlinn E. The role of hedgehog signalling in tumorigenesis. Cancer Lett. 2001 Nov 8. 173(1):1-7. [Medline].

  27. Zhang H, Ping XL, Lee PK, et al. Role of PTCH and p53 genes in early-onset basal cell carcinoma. Am J Pathol. 2001 Feb. 158(2):381-5. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  28. National Center for Biotechnical Information. Tumor Protein p53; TP53. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim/191170. Accessed: November 7, 2007.

  29. Young LC, Listgarten J, Trotter MJ, Andrew SE, Tron VA. Evidence that dysregulated DNA mismatch repair characterizes human nonmelanoma skin cancer. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jan. 158(1):59-69. [Medline].

  30. Lim JL, Stern RS. High levels of ultraviolet B exposure increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer in psoralen and ultraviolet A-treated patients. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Mar. 124(3):505-13. [Medline].

  31. Walling HW, Fosko SW, Geraminejad PA, Whitaker DC, Arpey CJ. Aggressive basal cell carcinoma: presentation, pathogenesis, and management. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2004 Aug-Dec. 23(3-4):389-402. [Medline].

  32. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sunburn prevalence among adults--United States, 1999, 2003, and 2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Jun 1. 56(21):524-8. [Medline].

  33. Wehner MR, Shive ML, Chren MM, Han J, Qureshi AA, Linos E. Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2012 Oct 2. 345:e5909. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  34. Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST. Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Oct. 67(4):552-62. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  35. Cohen MM Jr. Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome: molecular biology and new hypotheses. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1999 Jun. 28(3):216-23. [Medline].

  36. Klein RD, Dykas DJ, Bale AE. Clinical testing for the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome in a DNA diagnostic laboratory. Genet Med. 2005 Nov-Dec. 7(9):611-9. [Medline].

  37. Karagas MR. Occurrence of cutaneous basal cell and squamous cell malignancies among those with a prior history of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Prevention Study Group. J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Jun. 102(6):10S-13S. [Medline].

  38. Michaelsson G, Olsson E, Westermark P. The Rombo syndrome: a familial disorder with vermiculate atrophoderma, milia, hypotrichosis, trichoepitheliomas, basal cell carcinomas and peripheral vasodilation with cyanosis. Acta Derm Venereol. 1981. 61(6):497-503. [Medline].

  39. Heal C, Buettner P, Browning S. Risk factors for wound infection after minor surgery in general practice. Med J Aust. 2006 Sep 4. 185(5):255-8. [Medline].

  40. What are the key statistics about basal and squamous cell skin cancers?. American Cancer Society. Available at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-basalandsquamouscell/detailedguide/skin-cancer-basal-and-squamous-cell-key-statistics. April 30, 2015; Accessed: August 31, 2015.

  41. Marks R, Jolley D, Dorevitch AP, Selwood TS. The incidence of non-melanocytic skin cancers in an Australian population: results of a five-year prospective study. Med J Aust. 1989 May 1. 150(9):475-8. [Medline].

  42. Brasseur R, Lagesse Ch. [Contribution of psychometry of clinical evaluation of the therapeutic effect of "Solcoseryl" in states of intellectual weakness connected with chronic cerebral circulatory insufficiency (author's transl)]. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax. 1977 Mar 8. 66(10):312-7. [Medline].

  43. Cook BE Jr, Bartley GB. Epidemiologic characteristics and clinical course of patients with malignant eyelid tumors in an incidence cohort in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Ophthalmology. 1999 Apr. 106(4):746-50. [Medline].

  44. Leffell DJ, Headington JT, Wong DS, Swanson NA. Aggressive-growth basal cell carcinoma in young adults. Arch Dermatol. 1991 Nov. 127(11):1663-7. [Medline].

  45. Patel MS, Thigpen JT, Vance RB, Elkins SL, Guo M. Basal cell carcinoma with lung metastasis diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration biopsy. South Med J. 1999 Mar. 92(3):321-4. [Medline].

  46. Akinci M, Aslan S, Markoc F, Cetin B, Cetin A. Metastatic basal cell carcinoma. Acta Chir Belg. 2008 Mar-Apr. 108(2):269-72. [Medline].

  47. Mc Loone NM, Tolland J, Walsh M, et al. Follow-up of basal cell carcinomas: an audit of current practice. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Jul 2006. 20(6):698-701.

  48. Pieh S, Kuchar A, Novak P, Kunstfeld R, Nagel G, Steinkogler FJ. Long-term results after surgical basal cell carcinoma excision in the eyelid region. Br J Ophthalmol. 1999 Jan. 83(1):85-8. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  49. Marcil I, Stern RS. Risk of developing a subsequent nonmelanoma skin cancer in patients with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer: a critical review of the literature and meta-analysis. Arch Dermatol. 2000 Dec. 136(12):1524-30. [Medline].

  50. Levi F, Randimbison L, Maspoli M, Te VC, La Vecchia C. High incidence of second basal cell skin cancers. Int J Cancer. 2006 Sep 15. 119(6):1505-7. [Medline].

  51. Bruce AJ, Brodland DG. Overview of skin cancer detection and prevention for the primary care physician. Mayo Clin Proc. 2000 May. 75(5):491-500. [Medline].

  52. Betti R, Radaelli G, Mussino F, Menni S, Crosti C. Anatomic location and histopathologic subtype of basal cell carcinomas in adults younger than 40 or 90 and older: any difference?. Dermatol Surg. 2009 Feb. 35(2):201-6. [Medline].

  53. Griffin JR, Cohen PR, Tschen JA, et al. Basal cell carcinoma in childhood: case report and literature review. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Nov. 57(5 Suppl):S97-102. [Medline].

  54. Gorlin RJ. Nevoid basal cell carcinoma (Gorlin) syndrome: unanswered issues. J Lab Clin Med. 1999 Dec. 134(6):551-2. [Medline].

  55. Bernardini FP. Management of malignant and benign eyelid lesions. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006 Oct. 17(5):480-4. [Medline].

  56. Ly JQ. Scintigraphic findings in Gorlin's syndrome. Clin Nucl Med. 2002 Dec. 27(12):913-4. [Medline].

  57. Barton K, Curling OM, Paridaens AD, Hungerford JL. The role of cytology in the diagnosis of periocular basal cell carcinomas. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 1996 Sep. 12(3):190-4; discussion 195. [Medline].

  58. Orengo IF, Salasche SJ, Fewkes J, Khan J, Thornby J, Rubin F. Correlation of histologic subtypes of primary basal cell carcinoma and number of Mohs stages required to achieve a tumor-free plane. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Sep. 37(3 Pt 1):395-7. [Medline].

  59. Cherpelis BS, Turner L, Ladd S, Glass LF, Fenske NA. Innovative 19-minute rapid cytokeratin immunostaining of nonmelanoma skin cancer in Mohs micrographic surgery. Dermatol Surg. 2009 Jul. 35(7):1050-6. [Medline].

  60. Ackerman AB, Gottlieb GJ. Fibroepithelial tumor of pinkus is trichoblastic (Basal-cell) carcinoma. Am J Dermatopathol. 2005 Apr. 27(2):155-9. [Medline].

  61. Bowen AR, LeBoit PE. Fibroepithelioma of pinkus is a fenestrated trichoblastoma. Am J Dermatopathol. 2005 Apr. 27(2):149-54. [Medline].

  62. Strauss RM, Edwards S, Stables GI. Pigmented fibroepithelioma of Pinkus. Br J Dermatol. 2004 Jun. 150(6):1208-9. [Medline].

  63. Mannor GE, Wardell K, Wolfley DE, Nilsson GE. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging of eyelid skin. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 1996 Sep. 12(3):178-85. [Medline].

  64. Babilas P, Landthaler M, Szeimies RM. Photodynamic therapy in dermatology. Eur J Dermatol. 2006 Jul-Aug. 16(4):340-8. [Medline].

  65. Foley P. Clinical efficacy of methyl aminolaevulinate photodynamic therapy in basal cell carcinoma and solar keratosis. Australas J Dermatol. 2005 Feb. 46 Suppl 3:S8-10; discussion S23-5. [Medline].

  66. Zimmermann A, Walt H, Haller U, Baas P, Klein SD. Effects of chlorin-mediated photodynamic therapy combined with fluoropyrimidines in vitro and in a patient. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2003 Feb. 51(2):147-54. [Medline].

  67. Love WE, Bernhard JD, Bordeaux JS. Topical imiquimod or fluorouracil therapy for basal and squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review. Arch Dermatol. 2009 Dec. 145(12):1431-8. [Medline].

  68. Berman B. Scientific rationale: combining imiquimod and surgical treatments for basal cell carcinomas. J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jan. 7(1 Suppl 1):s3-6. [Medline].

  69. Brownell I. Nodular basal cell carcinoma: when in doubt, cut it out. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Dec. 6(12):1245-6. [Medline].

  70. Farhi D, Dupin N, Palangie A, Carlotti A, Avril MF. Incomplete excision of basal cell carcinoma: rate and associated factors among 362 consecutive cases. Dermatol Surg. 2007 Oct. 33(10):1207-14. [Medline].

  71. [Guideline] Ad Hoc Task Force, Connolly SM, Baker DR, Coldiron BM, Fazio MJ, et al. AAD/ACMS/ASDSA/ASMS 2012 appropriate use criteria for Mohs micrographic surgery: a report of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, and the American Society for Mohs Surgery. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Oct. 67 (4):531-50. [Medline].

  72. Miller BH, Shavin JS, Cognetta A, et al. Nonsurgical treatment of basal cell carcinomas with intralesional 5-fluorouracil/epinephrine injectable gel. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Jan. 36(1):72-7. [Medline].

  73. Greenway HT, Cornell RC, Tanner DJ, Peets E, Bordin GM, Nagi C. Treatment of basal cell carcinoma with intralesional interferon. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986 Sep. 15(3):437-43. [Medline].

  74. Geisse JK, Rich P, Pandya A, et al. Imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: a double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Sep. 47(3):390-8. [Medline].

  75. Garcia-Martin E, Gil-Arribas LM, Idoipe M, et al. Comparison of imiquimod 5% cream versus radiotherapy as treatment for eyelid basal cell carcinoma. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011 Oct. 95(10):1393-6. [Medline].

  76. Eigentler TK, Kamin A, Weide BM, et al. A phase III, randomized, open label study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of imiquimod 5% cream applied thrice weekly for 8 and 12 weeks in the treatment of low-risk nodular basal cell carcinoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Oct. 57(4):616-21. [Medline].

  77. Stockfleth E, Ulrich C, Hauschild A, Lischner S, Meyer T, Christophers E. Successful treatment of basal cell carcinomas in a nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome with topical 5% imiquimod. Eur J Dermatol. 2002 Nov-Dec. 12(6):569-72. [Medline].

  78. Arits AH, Mosterd K, Essers BA, et al. Photodynamic therapy versus topical imiquimod versus topical fluorouracil for treatment of superficial basal-cell carcinoma: a single blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2013 Jun. 14(7):647-54. [Medline].

  79. Bianchi L, Orlandi A, Campione E, Angeloni C, Costanzo A, Spagnoli LG, et al. Topical treatment of basal cell carcinoma with tazarotene: a clinicopathological study on a large series of cases. Br J Dermatol. 2004 Jul. 151(1):148-56. [Medline].

  80. Lewis JE. Keloidal basal cell carcinoma. Am J Dermatopathol. 2007 Oct. 29(5):485. [Medline].

  81. Cognetta AB, Howard BM, Heaton HP, Stoddard ER, Hong HG, Green WH. Superficial x-ray in the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinomas: a viable option in select patients. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Dec. 67(6):1235-41. [Medline].

  82. Braathen LR, Szeimies RM, Basset-Seguin N, et al. Guidelines on the use of photodynamic therapy for nonmelanoma skin cancer: an international consensus. International Society for Photodynamic Therapy in Dermatology, 2005. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Jan. 56(1):125-43. [Medline].

  83. [Guideline] Morton CA, McKenna KE, Rhodes LE. Guidelines for topical photodynamic therapy: update. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Dec. 159(6):1245-66. [Medline].

  84. Calzavara-Pinton PG, Szeimies RM, Ortel B, Zane C. Photodynamic therapy with systemic administration of photosensitizers in dermatology. J Photochem Photobiol B. 1996 Nov. 36(2):225-31. [Medline].

  85. Puccioni M, Santoro N, Giansanti F, et al. Photodynamic therapy using methyl aminolevulinate acid in eyelid basal cell carcinoma: a 5-year follow-up study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Mar-Apr. 25(2):115-8. [Medline].

  86. Mosterd K, Thissen MR, Nelemans P, et al. Fractionated 5-aminolaevulinic acid-photodynamic therapy vs. surgical excision in the treatment of nodular basal cell carcinoma: results of a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Sep. 159(4):864-70. [Medline].

  87. Rhodes LE, de Rie MA, Leifsdottir R, et al. Five-year follow-up of a randomized, prospective trial of topical methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy vs surgery for nodular basal cell carcinoma. Arch Dermatol. 2007 Sep. 143(9):1131-6. [Medline].

  88. Christensen E, Mork C, Skogvoll E. High and sustained efficacy after two sessions of topical 5-aminolaevulinic acid photodynamic therapy for basal cell carcinoma: a prospective, clinical and histological 10-year follow-up study. Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jun. 166(6):1342-8. [Medline].

  89. Kempf RA. Systemic therapy of skin carcinoma. Cancer Treat Res. 1995. 78:137-62. [Medline].

  90. Von Hoff DD, LoRusso PM, Rudin CM, et al. Inhibition of the hedgehog pathway in advanced basal-cell carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 2009 Sep 17. 361(12):1164-72. [Medline].

  91. Erevedge (vismodegib) Prescribing Information. Available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/203388lbl.pdf. Accessed: August 31, 2015.

  92. Migden MR, Guminski A, Gutzmer R, Dirix L, Lewis KD, Combemale P, et al. Treatment with two different doses of sonidegib in patients with locally advanced or metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BOLT): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2015 Jun. 16 (6):716-28. [Medline].

  93. Douglas D. Fluorouracil may boost invasive skin cancer risk in some. Medscape [serial online]. Available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/815053. 2013 Nov 26; Accessed: August 31, 2015.

  94. National Center for Biotechnical Information. Bazex Syndrome; BZX. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim/301845 \t _blank. Accessed: November 7, 2007.

  95. Xiong MY, Korgavkar K, Digiovanna JJ, Weinstock MA, Veterans Affairs Topical Tretinoin Chemoprevention Trial Group. Fluorouracil and other predictors of morpheaform basal cell carcinoma among high-risk patients: the Veterans Affairs Topical Tretinoin Chemoprevention Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2014 Mar. 150(3):332-4. [Medline].

 
Previous
Next
 
A pink, scaly lesion on the skin. Superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Clinically, an erythematous, this tumor is often misdiagnosed as eczematous dermatitis or guttate psoriasis and is often difficult to distinguish clinically from Bowen disease (squamous cell carcinoma in situ). Features that suggest the diagnosis of superficial BCC are the absence of significant white, adherent scale, and a history of the lesion remaining unchanged for several months or years. Treatment options for this tumor include electrodesiccation and curettage, surgical excision, cryosurgery, 5-fluorouracil, 5% imiquimod cream, and superficial radiographic therapy. Electrodesiccation and curettage is the modality most commonly used, with a cure rate of approximately 95%.
Basal cell carcinoma.
A 68-year-old patient presenting with an advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the right periorbital region, frontal view (Images courtesy of M Abraham Kuriakose, DDS, MD)
Lateral view of face showing extent of tumor (Images courtesy of M Abraham Kuriakose, DDS, MD)
Basal cell carcinoma of the right lower lid.
Biopsy-proven basal cell carcinoma of the upper lid margin. Note the loss of cilia (madarosis) in the area of the tumor.
Medial canthal/lower lid basal cell. Note the pearly nodular surface with characteristic telangiectatic vessels. Proximity to the lacrimal system will impact its treatment and reconstruction.
Nodular basal cell carcinoma.
Nodular basal cell carcinoma appearing as a waxy, translucent papule with central depression and a few small erosions.
Scale, erythema, and a threadlike raised border are present in this superficial basal cell carcinoma on the trunk.
Large, superficial basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma (Image courtesy of Hon Pak, MD)
Pigmented basal cell carcinoma.
Pigmented basal cell carcinoma.
Pigmented basal cell carcinoma has features of nodular basal cell carcinoma with the addition of dark pigmentation from melanin deposition. The pigmentation often has the appearance of dark droplets in the lesion, as shown here.
This infiltrating basal cell cancer has ill-defined borders and telangiectases.
This translucent pink papule has telangiectases and a crusted erosion, characteristic of nodular basal cell carcinoma.
Large, scarlike morpheaform basal cell cancer.
Nodular basal cell carcinoma. Nodular aggregates of basalioma cells are present in the dermis and exhibit peripheral palisading and retraction artifact. Melanin is also present within the tumor and in the surrounding stroma, as seen in pigmented basal cell carcinoma.
Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nests of basaloid cells are seen budding from the undersurface of the epidermis.
Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal cell carcinoma (original magnification X140). (Image courtesy of Prof Pantaleo Bufo, University of Foggia, Italy)
Histologic pattern of a well-differentiated basal cell carcinoma (original magnification X250). (Image courtesy of Prof Pantaleo Bufo, University of Foggia, Italy)
Micronodular basal cell carcinoma often has an absence of retraction artifact. The characteristic histology is small size and uniformity of the tumor nodules. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)
Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. Tumor cells are arranged in narrow strands, and mucin-rich stroma is often present. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)
Keratotic basal cell carcinoma. Rare type characterized by keratocysts. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)
Basosquamous basal cell carcinoma. Foci of neoplastic cells with squamous differentiation are present. (Image courtesy of Shang I Brian Jiang, MD)
Histology of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Nests of basaloid cells are seen budding from the undersurface of the epidermis. (Image courtesy of Michael L Ramsey, MD)
 
 
 
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.