Basal cell

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer, and the most frequently occurring form of all cancers, arising from abnormal growth of basal cells in the epidermis (top layer of skin).  As dermatologists, recognizing the clinical features and risk factors associated with BCC is crucial in facilitating early detection and intervention. Chronic sun exposure, fair skin, and a history of sunburns or tanning bed use are among the key predisposing factors for developing BCC.

Diagnosing BCC involves a comprehensive skin physical, including inspection of suspicious lesions and noting symptoms such as bleeding, ulceration, or changes in size and shape. While BCC typically looks like as a pearly or flesh-colored bump or nodule with some red small veins (telengectasia),  it can manifest in various morphologies or shapes.

Treatment options for BCC depend on factors such as tumor size, location, depth, and patient characteristics. Surgical excision remains the gold standard for localized disease, with the goal of achieving clear margins while preserving function and good cosmetic appearance.  Mohs micrographic surgery, performed by specialty dermatologic surgeons called Mohs surgeons,  offer precise tissue sparing and high cure rates, particularly for tumors in cosmetically sensitive or high-risk areas.

In cases where surgery is not feasible or for patients with extensive or metastatic disease, nonsurgical modalities such as topical therapies, cryotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted systemic agents may be considered. Patient education is crucial in BCC management, emphasizing the importance of sun protection measures, regular skin self-examinations, and routine dermatologic evaluations for early detection and prevention of recurrence.

By providing comprehensive evaluation, tailored treatment options, and ongoing support, dermatologists play a pivotal role in optimizing outcomes and improving the overall prognosis for patients with basal cell carcinoma. Through a combination of education, surveillance, and therapeutic interventions, dermatologists strive to minimize disease burden and enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by this common yet potentially serious skin cancer.

For additional information: Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Nashville Dermatology Physicians


1001 Health Park Drive Suite 470,
Brentwood, TN 37027


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


11:00 am - 6:00 pm