Basal Cell Carcinoma - Skin Cancer

I. Definition:Basal Cell Carcinoma - Sample Picture

A basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas are the result of sun damage to the skin. Basal cell carcinomas enlarge slowly and steadily and can invade neighboring tissue, like the eye, but they usually do not spread to distant parts of the body (metastasize). The only way to tell for sure if a skin growth is cancerous is to biopsy it. This involves removing a small piece of the skin and having a pathologist look at it under the microscope in a medical laboratory. A biopsy does not remove the cancer, it only takes off the very top (like the tip of an iceberg). Sometimes the skin will heal after the biopsy because it grows over the cancer. This does not mean the cancer is gone, it means the cancer is now covered with a blanket of skin. If the cancer is not removed completely it can go deep into the skin and cause great harm.