The clinical types of BCC
There are different types of BCC requiring different treatments. The broad category of BCC may be established clinically prior to excision. However, the pathology report is required to identify any concerning features and to confirm the BCC subtype.
Let’s describe the two main types of BCC:
- Nodular BCC that is raised, shiny, may be pigmented & usually occurs on the face. Nodular BCC needs to be cut out.
- Superficial BCC that is flat, pink, & usually occurs on the trunk or limbs. This may be treated with skin cancer cream.
Now let’s look at all the main types of BCC in more detail.
Superficial BCC accounts for around 30% of Basal Cell Carcinoma. The condition tends to occur in a younger age group than those affected by other BCC types. UV light is a little less important in the development of superficial BCC than nodular BCC.
Superficial BCC appears as a pink or red flat lesion with well defined borders. On stretching the skin, there may be a slightly raised edge though this is a subtle sign. When you know what to look for, the edge may be slightly pearly in appearance. The lesion itself may be slightly shiny and/or scaly. These signs are not very specific, and a superficial BCC may look similar to an IEC (Bowens disease). A dermatoscope will certainly help distinguish the two.
Superficial BCC may be treated non-surgically. The most common non-surgical treatment is with Imiquimod (®Aldara) cream.