Skin cancer, light micrograph

Skin cancer, light micrograph

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Credit: BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Skin cancer. Light micrograph of a section through the skin of a patient affected by basal cell carcinoma (BCC). The surface of the body, the upper layers of the skin, are across top. The tumour itself is the large round mass, here present in a solid nodular form. Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer, and is most often caused by over-exposure to sunlight. The cancer starts as a small flat nodule and grows slowly, eventually breaking down at centre to form a shallow ulcer that persistently bleeds. Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread to other parts of the body. Treatment involves the surgical removal of the tumour or radiotherapy.

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