Last Updated on Dec 01, 2014

Symptoms and Signs

Basal cell cancer usually arises in the facial area as a red spots, small pearly swellings, a nodule or a pale scar.

The following are the features of basal cell cancer or basal cell carcinoma:

  • Basal cell cancer usually arises on the face in the area above a line joining the angle of the mouth and the ear lobe. (one theory proposes that it is more common in the embryonic fusion planes).
  • It may be localized to an area or spread into deeper tissues.
  • Superficial cancer appears as bright pink, shiny well defined red spots or small pearly swellings, a nodule or a pale scar. Stretching of the skin may make the lesion more obvious.
  • Ulceration of the central part may occur with the edges appearing raised and rolled up.

A biopsy helps to diagnose the cancer.

The most common site for the Basal cell cancer is the face especially the nose (70%). But it may also occurs in other areas such as:

  • Trunk - 25%
  • Penis, vulva - 5%


  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

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