Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing form of skin cancer. Skin cancer falls into two major groups: Nonmelanoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in humans and is caused by lifelong sun-exposure, fair skin, and hereditary disposition. While rarely life-threatening, if untreated these tumors continue to grow larger and deeper, and can eventually invade into important structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and even bone. When this type of cancer is found on the face and ears, the best treatment is usually Mohs micrographic surgery, which will provide the possibility for the highest chance of cure while leaving as small a scar as possible. Skin cancers in these areas require the care of an expert surgeon.