Clinically presents as a pearly white papulo-nodule or firm plaque.
Patient usually has prominent solar damage or a history of considerable UV exposure.
Can be locally aggressive, but rarely metastasizes.
Biopsy with histopathologic evaluation is essential; findings are of dermal masses of varying sizes and shapes composed of basophilic cells with large oval rather uniform nuclei and scant cytoplasm. These masses exhibit a peripheral cell layer demonstrating a palisading pattern of nuclei.
Treatment varies, remembering that the diagnosis of a cancer is histologic.
Complications are unusual if this cancer is treated properly.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin is a common neoplasm, related to exposure to sunlight.  BCC has also been known as basal cell epithelioma, reflecting the fact that this neoplasm infrequently metastasizes. It can be locally aggressive, but rarely metastasizes. While certain factors can result in higher-grade behavior, in most cases earlier detection and treatment have made extensive local invasion and destructiion from this neoplasm a thing of the past. 
Professor & Head
Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School
Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration
RAS is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.
Professor Robert A. Schwartz would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr James R. DeBloom and Dr Drazen Jukic, the previous contributors to this monograph. JRD and DJ declare that they have no competing interests.
Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
RB declares that he has no competing interests.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of California
DC declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer