Carcinoma is a medical word for cancer. Basal cells are a type of cell in your skin. So basal cell carcinoma is a kind of skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma is usually a growth (tumor) on your skin (usually on your head or neck) that is:
It can also appear as:
Tumors are usually slow growing but can grow as much as a half inch in a year.
To treat basal cell carcinoma, doctors will remove the cancer in one of these ways:
If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your doctor may give you chemotherapy to take by mouth.
The best way to prevent basal cell carcinoma is to limit sun exposure:
Stay out of the sun—sit in the shade, try to avoid the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
Don't sunbathe or use tanning beds
Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats with broad brims
Use sunscreen that’s at least 30 sun protection factor (SPF)—it's important to use more sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
See a doctor if you see a change in a skin growth that doesn't go away after a few weeks.