Certain high-risk features are markers of an aggressive basal cell carcinoma (BCC). These features are related to the location, size, and pathologic features of the tumor as well as certain characteristics of the patient.
Large size: Size greater than 20 mm (2 cm or about 0.8 inch, the diameter of a nickel). This designation applies to tumors on the trunk and extremities
Certain symptoms: Causing pain and itchiness (which may indicate neurologic involvement)
Certain tumor subtypes: Ones that have an aggressive growth pattern, which is specific information that should be noted on the pathology report
A tumor that has come back (recurred)
Immunosuppression: resulting from the immunosuppressive regimens used after organ transplantation, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or certain blood cancers
The greater number of high-risk features, the more likely you are to have the BCC come back. To see how risk features are integrated into the staging of of BCC, see STAGING OF BCC: A PRACTICAL DESCRIPTION.
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