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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Lifestyle and diet

  • Sun protection measures are important, especially for fair-skinned people and others at high risk. These include wearing broad spectrum high SPF sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing and seeking shade when outdoors between 10am and 3pm in summer.
  • Avoid intense periods of exposure which may lead to sunburn as intermittent intense exposure may be more important as a trigger than continuous exposure.
  • Sun protection is especially important in childhood and adolescence, as a history of childhood freckling and sunburn is a risk factor.
  • Avoid smoking, as lack of sunscreen use and smoking may also be associated with increased skin cancer risk.
  • Avoid tanning salons as these increase risk.
  • Regularly check yourself for skin growths or ask a partner or doctor to check. People at high risk may consider more regular checks. See your doctor if you have any suspicious-looking skin lesions.
  • If a BCC is removed, regular medical follow-up is necessary as at least two-thirds of recurrences occur within 3 years of treatment.



Reviewed July 2011 by

Dr Michelle J Hunt, Cosmetic and Surgical Dermatologist, Mohs' surgeon. Inner Sydney Dermatology

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