What is advanced BCC?

What is BCC?

Basal (bas-al) cell carcinoma (sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh) (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer in the United States. BCC starts in basal cells, which are a type of cell at the bottom of the top layer of skin (known as the epidermis).

BCC develops when basal cells go through changes called mutation in their DNA. A cell's DNA contains instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations tell the basal cells to grow out of control and to continue living and dividing when normal cells would die, which can result in tumor development. Most of these abnormal skin cells are caused by ultraviolet exposure from sunlight, and in tanning lamps and tanning beds.

BCC can appear as open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, scars or growths with slightly raised, rolled edges and/or a central depression. Sometimes, the lesions may ooze, crust, itch, or bleed.

BCC tumor skin layers and cells

What is advanced BCC?

BCC is considered advanced when it has grown wide and deep into the skin; or has spread or cannot be cured by surgery or radiation after multiple treatments.

  • There are 2 forms: locally advanced BCC and metastatic BCC
  • Locally advanced BCC occurs when tumors become large or have grown deep into the skin, underlying tissues, muscles, or nerves, destroying nearby healthy tissue. These lesions can become swollen, painful, and disfiguring. Locally advanced BCC makes up approximately 95% of advanced BCC cases
  • Metastatic BCC occurs when tumors spread beyond their original location to other parts or organs of the body. Metastatic BCC is rare and makes up about 5% of advanced BCC cases

Locally advanced BCC can look different on everyone.

The following photos are examples of what locally advanced BCC might look like on different people.

Locally Advanced BCC patient pictures of lesions

Actual clinical trial patients. It is important to remember that these are only some examples of locally advanced BCC, which can look different in every patient.

For more information on what BCC may look like, please visit the Skin Cancer Foundation site listed in our patient resources section to view other examples and warning signs of BCC.

The inclusion of the organization listed above does not imply endorsement of LIBTAYO or Regeneron.

Learn more about the types of doctors who treat advanced BCC and some of the treatment options.