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Patient Information

What I tell my patients about…basal cell carcinoma

What is it? 

Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are a slow growing low-grade form of skin cancer, and the most common skin cancer seen in the UK. BCCs account for nearly 80% of all diagnosed skin cancers. Unlike other forms of more concerning skin cancers, such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, this type does not tend to spread (‘metastasise’) easily. 

BCCs are also known as ‘rodent ulcers’, because they are thought to gradually ‘gnaw away’ in the skin like a rodent if neglected (see Figure 1), although this term is less commonly used.

Dermatology in practice 2020; 26(1): 14–16
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