• The two black arrows point towards the edges of the
• The tumor has caused a large ulcer in the skin.
|Basal cell carcinoma|
•There is a strong association with exposure to the sun.
•Direct damage to DNA by UV radiation.
•Basal cell carcinomas are common lesions particularly
in older light-skinned individuals.
•Most common non-pigmented skin carcinoma.
•Basal cell carcinomas occur on the face and are overall
more frequent in men in most locations, except the legs
where they occur more frequently in women.
•They are usually present as small bumps or lumps, often
with some evidence of ulceration.
•They are slow-growing tumors that can be locally
invasive and destructive, but usually do not metastasize
to distant sites and are non-lethal.
•However, if allowed to go for long periods of time
locally, they can be locally destructive and if around the eye or ear may invade into the brain.
|General Gross Description|
•Grossly, they are pearly white nodules of varying size, often with a central area of ulceration and telangiectatic blood vessels around them.
|General Micro Description|
•Histologically, they are composed of small cuboidal
cells with vesicular nuclei and basophilic cytoplasm.
•The distinctive feature of a basal cell carcinoma is
the presence of these cells that resemble the normal
basal cells of stratified squamous epithelium.
•A characteristic feature that distinguishes them from
squamous cell carcinomas is the absence of a stratum
spinosum, or spiny cell layer.
•This feature becomes particularly important in those
basal cell carcinomas that show significant keratin
•Basal cell carcinomas can undergo significant cystic
change in the center.
•Another characteristic feature of basal cell carcinomas
is the tendency of cells in the periphery to line up
with their nuclei with the long access perpendicular
to the basement membrane and approximately parallel to
•This structure is known as "palisading".
•The nests also artifactually separate from the stroma, so called "cracking".
• Robbins and Cotran: Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th ed., 2005, pp. 1242-4.
• Harrison^s Principles of Internal Medicine, 16 th Edition, 2005, Ch. 73.