What is included in the long-term monitoring of basal cell carcinoma (BCC)?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Mc Loone et al found that patients who are diagnosed with BCC have a 35% chance of developing another tumor within 3 years and a 50% chance of developing another (not recurrent) BCC within 5 years. [49] The NCCN guidelines state that 30-50% of patients will develop another nonmelanoma skin cancer within 5 years. These patients are also at an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma. [7] Therefore, regular skin screenings are recommended. [49, 7]

Fewer than 1% of BCCs spread to another site in the body; nevertheless, after treatment, which is curative in more than 95% of cases, BCC may develop in new sites. Recommend appropriate prolonged or lifelong follow-up care.

Tumors occurring after radiotherapy tend to be more aggressive and infiltrative than other tumors. Metastasis is rare but has been reported with rates of 0.01-0.1%. Metastases most often originate from large, ulcerated tumors. Metastases usually occur in regional lymph nodes. Follow-up visits are scheduled 3 months after therapy and every 6 months to 1 year thereafter for the life of the patient.


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