What are the most common sites for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) lesions?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Body distribution of BCCs is as follows:

  • On the head and neck (most frequently on the face [9] ; most common location is the nose, specifically the nasal tip and alae) - 85%

  • On the trunk and extremities [3] -15%

  • On the penis, [10] vulva, [11, 12] or perianal skin - Infrequent

The anatomic distribution of BCCs correlates with embryonic fusion planes. After adjusting for surface area, BCC occurrence is greater than 4 times more likely on embryonic fusion planes than on other regions of the midface, a finding that supports the possibility of an embryologic role for BCC pathogenesis. [13]

BCC can develop on unexposed areas. In some patients, contributing factors are exposure to or contact with arsenic, [14] tar, coal, paraffin, [15] certain types of industrial oil, and radiation. BCC can also be associated with scars (eg, burn complications), [16] xeroderma pigmentosum, [17] previous trauma, [18] vaccinations, or even tattoos. (See Etiology.)

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