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What causes basal cell carcinoma?

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Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or from a tanning bed are the main cause of basal cell carcinoma.

When UV rays hit your skin, over time, they can damage the DNA in your skin cells. The DNA holds the code for the way these cells grow. Over time, damage to the DNA can cause cancer to form. The process takes many years.

From: Basal Cell Carcinoma WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cell."

National Cancer Institute: ''Treatment Options for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer.''

Medscape: "Basal Cell Carcinoma."

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: "Basal Cell Carcinoma."

Cancer Research UK: "How does UV cause skin cancer."

Harvard Health Letter: "Recognizing and treating basal cell carcinoma."

Skin Cancer Foundation: "Step by Step Self-Examination."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 2, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cell."

National Cancer Institute: ''Treatment Options for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer.''

Medscape: "Basal Cell Carcinoma."

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: "Basal Cell Carcinoma."

Cancer Research UK: "How does UV cause skin cancer."

Harvard Health Letter: "Recognizing and treating basal cell carcinoma."

Skin Cancer Foundation: "Step by Step Self-Examination."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 2, 2018

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What are symptoms of basal cell carcinoma?

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