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BCC (basal cell carcinoma; rodent ulcer)

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common type of skin cancer that fortunately does not spread to other parts of the body. They commonly arise in sun exposed areas such as the face and neck and are caused by cumulative exposure to the sun over the course of one’s life. They grow very slowly without healing and are described as locally invasive (grow into adjacent structures).

The majority of treatment is surgical as this allows the lesion to be analysed thereby confirming the diagnosis and ensuring complete removal. Fortunately 95% of rodent ulcers are completely removed first time but occasionally a repeat procedure is needed to ensure complete removal.

Other non-surgical treatments for rodent ulcer do exist such as radiotherapy, ultraviolet light treatment (PDT or photodynamic therapy) and some superficial lesions can be treated with an ointment.

Most surgery for BCC is carried out under local anaesthetic.

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