Erin Dahlke, MD, Dermatology Resident, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Christian A. Murray, MD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Dermatology, University of Toronto; Co-director of Dermatologic Surgery, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a common, slow-growing malignant skin tumour that only very rarely metastasizes. The main subtypes of BCC are nodular, superficial, and sclerosing. The most important risk factors for the development of BCC include fair skin, extensive sun exposure as a child, past personal history of skin cancer, and advanced age. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common human malignancy, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. There are a number of different treatm ent modalities for BCC including topical therapies, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation and curettage, surgical excision, radiotherapy, and Mohs’ micrographic surgery. Treatment should be tailored to the individual situation, and advanced age does not typically alter the management choice or reduce the expectation of an excellent outcome, including cure.
Key words: basal cell carcinoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, risk factors, epidemiology, treatment.