Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Basal cell skin cancer

Basal cell skin cancer (carcinoma) is the most common type of skin cancer. It grows slowly and usually doesn't spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. If not treated, it can damage the skin and deeper tissues where it started growing. When it's found early and treated, most basal cell skin cancer can be cured.

This cancer is usually caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun. Using tanning beds or sunlamps can also cause it. It most often appears on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun, such as the head and trunk. The nose, ears, lips, and scalp are the most common sites.

Basal cell cancer is usually treated with surgery to remove the cancer. If it can't be removed, other treatments may be used, such as radiation therapy or medicines.