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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer and although it almost never spreads internally, it slowly enlarges locally and can destroy normal structures if left untreated.
BCC originates from cells in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) and although is typically occurs in sun exposed skin, such as the face, scalp and neck, it may occur anywhere on the body.
The most common cause of BCC is sunlight. Sunlight can cause damage to cellular DNA and this is harmful because DNA is the blueprint or map for creating new cells. In most cases, damaged DNA is detected and repaired by the immune system.
Basal cell skin cancer forms when sun damage is too great or if the immune system is not working effectively.