DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Basal cell carcinoma after treatment. View of a basal cell carcinoma (or rodent ulcer) on the skin of a 73 year old woman one week after cryosurgery (cold treatment). Basal cell carcinomas are the most common form of skin cancer among fair-skinned people, mostly affecting the elderly. They usually appear on the face and are thought to be caused by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Although they slowly destroy the surrounding tissue, they seldom spread to other parts of the body. Cryosurgery uses the extreme cold of liquid nitrogen (around minus 196 degrees Celsius) to kill living tissue. The procedure causes little scarring, making it a popular alternative to surgical excision.
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