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Basal cell carcinoma on leg of elderly woman

Basal cell carcinoma on leg of elderly woman

M131/0287

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Credit

DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Basal cell carcinoma. Close-up of a brown, raised bleeding, ulcer-like growth on the leg of a 71 year-old woman. This is a type of skin cancer called a basal cell carcinoma, or "rodent ulcer". Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer, and is most often caused by over-exposure to sunlight. Fair-skinned people over 50 are the most at risk. 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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