What is basal cell carcinoma?  

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It occurs in skin exposed to the sun, especially on the head and neck.

Basal cells are located in the top layer of skin, called the epidermis. Abnormal, uncontrolled growth of basal cells leads to locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC), which is normally slow growing. Most cases can be managed with surgery if caught early enough. If left untreated, BCC can be disfiguring and impact nerves, bone, and cartilage.

When does BCC become locally advanced?  

There is no simple definition of when BCC becomes laBCC. Your doctor may consider these factors:

  • Large size
  • Challenging location like on the eyes, ears, nose, or lips
  • A return of a BCC after prior surgery or radiation
  • A BCC that has grown deep below the surface of the skin