Last Updated on Dec 01, 2014

Risk Factors

Chronic exposure to sunlight especially in fair-skinned individuals is the major risk factor for the development of basal cell cancer.

The following are risk factors for the development of basal cell cancer or basal cell carcinoma:

  • Chronic sunlight exposure: Chronic exposure to ultraviolet sunrays is the most important factor in the development of basal cell cancer. People living near the equator are at a particular risk. Ultraviolet rays from tanning booths could also predispose to the development of basal cell cancer.
  • Fair individuals: Basal cell cancer occurs most often in white-skinned individuals.
  • Age: Basal cell cancer affects middle aged and elderly people between the ages of 40 and 80 years.
  • Male gender: Men are more commonly affected than women.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Exposure to chemicals like arsenical compounds, coal tar and aromatic hydrocarbons.
  • Radiation: radiation predisposes the person to basal cell cancer. It occurs may thus occur on the hands of a radiographer.
  • Previous skin lesions: Basal cell cancer can develop on previous scars, vaccination points, previous trauma and even tattoos.


  1. Bailey and Love Short Practice of Surgery 25th edition.


ingrid37 Saturday, November 3, 2012

I was diagnosed with large basal cell ca tumor on ear last week. Recoomended partial resection of ear. Have noticed accellerated growth of nodule since taking methotrexate 15mg ea Friday for severe inflammation with RA. Should I proceed with surgery and what about continuing methotrexate....Rheumatologist says methotrexate is treatment for cancer, continue taking it. Thank you for your advice Ingrid Mullins

schmerr Monday, June 4, 2012

I have an ulcerated basal cell carcinoma near my eye. You mentioned the prognosis is worse if the bcc is near the eye. Why is this?

prema Thursday, July 21, 2011

very well written article covering all aspects of Rodent ulcer or basal cell cancer

Most Popular on Medindia