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How does stage 3 basal cell carcinoma affect the body?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Stage 3 basal cell carcinoma starts in the bottom part of the epidermis, which is the skin's top layer. An overgrowth of skin cells eventually builds up and forms a tumor. Stage 3 basal cell carcinoma tumors are usually small, shiny growths that may bleed easily, or scab and crust. Tumors, which can be any size but are often over 2 centimeters in diameter at this stage, usually form on areas of sun-exposed skin. In stage 3, these tumors are often found on the face and neck. While in stage 3, basal cell carcinomas may spread deeper into the lower layers of skin, may be thicker than 2 millimeters, and may begin to take over tiny nerves in the skin. At this point, the cancer may also have begun to spread to a nearby lymph node. If left untreated, these tumors will continue to spread into the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.