Basal cell carcinoma arises in the skin’s subcutaneous layers. Seldom metastasizing (spreading to other areas of the body), the major spreading mechanism of basal cell carcinoma is local invasion of surrounding tissue, sometimes extending down to the bone.
While basal cell carcinoma has traditionally been a cancer associated with older people, it is now seen more than ever in young adults. The major risk factors for developing this cancer are excessive chronic sun exposure over many years and a fair complexion, especially when hair is blond or red.
The cancer usually looks like a small fleshy bump, but sometimes appear a red patches. If untreated, affected areas may become large and disfiguring. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential; adults should regularly perform self-examinations.