Skin Cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Introduction

Skin cancer. Light micrograph of a section through a basal cell carcinoma (rodent ulcer) a skin cancer. Magnification: x80 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
Science Photo Library - Steve Gschmeissner/Getty images

Basal cell carcinoma is a malignant skin tumor involving cancerous changes of basal skin cells. Basal cell skin cancers usually occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.

Once a suspicious lesion is found, a biopsy is needed to prove the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. Treatment varies depending on the size, depth, and location of the cancer. Early treatment by a dermatologist may result in a cure rate of more than 95%, but regular examination by a health care provider is required to watch for new sites of basal cell cancer. This image gallery will help you identify the range of basal cell lesions so that you can know when to contact your physician.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Classic Example

Basal cell carcinoma pictures
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This flesh-colored, wart-like, pearly, smooth, non-scaly papule (bump) is a typical basal cell carcinoma. In this case, it is on a common, sun-exposed area of the face -- the forehead.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - On Nose

Basal Cell Carcinoma pictures - On Nose
Photo © A.D.A.M.

The typical basal cell carcinoma appears as a small, pearly, dome-shaped nodule with small visible blood vessels (telangiectasias).

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Pigmented

Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Pigmented
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This basal cell carcinoma appears as a 2- to 3-centimeter skin spot. The tissue has become destroyed (forming what's called an "atrophic plaque"). There is a brownish color because of increased skin pigment (hyperpigmentation) and a slightly elevated, rolled, pearl-colored margin. This growth is located along the hair line.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Behind Ear

Basal cell carcinoma pictures
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This basal cell carcinoma appears as a 1- to 1.5-centimeter flesh-colored nodule with a depression in the middle and a raised, pearly border. Small blood vessels are visible, which means the lesion is telangiectatic.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Spreading

Basal Cell Carcinoma pictures - Spreading
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This basal cell carcinoma is 5 to 6 centimeters across, red, has well-defined (demarcated) borders and sprinkled brown pigment along the margins. This cancer is located on the person's back.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Tip of Nose

Basal Cell Carcinoma pictures - Tip of Nose
Photo © A.D.A.M.

A basal cell carcinoma near the tip of the nose is shown here. This lesion has a pearly, slightly raised border, and would likely bleed easily if traumatized.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Close-Up

Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Close-Up
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This basal cell carcinoma exhibits a characteristic of this type of lesion -- telangiectasia, which means small blood vessels are present. The lesion is also pearly and smooth, with a slight depression in the middle.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Another Close-Up

Basal Cell Carcinoma pictures - Another Close-Up
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This basal cell carcinoma appears as a multicolored flat lesion, with ulcerations and bleeding along the edges. Telangiectasia (blood vessels) are present.

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Basal Cell Skin Carcinoma Pictures - Caused by X-Ray Therapy

Basal Cell Carcinoma pictures - Caused by X-Ray Therapy
Photo © A.D.A.M.

Basal cell carcinomas

are more prevalent on sun- or radiation-exposed areas of skin. Here, the typical lesion with raised, rolled, pearly borders with ulcerated center is seen on the back of a person previously irradiated for acne, a common practice in the 1940s.

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