Basal cell carcinoma: review of risk factors

Tamari Darjania, George Galdava, Tina Kituashvili


Background: Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer and its incidence is rising worldwide. Its pathogenesis is still not well understood, although it is considered to be impacted by genetic and environmental factors.

Aim: The aim of the study is to review and summarize recent literature about basal cell carcinoma associated risk factors.

Methods: We searched all the available literature via Google Scholar and PubMed database by using keywords: basal cell carcinoma, risk factors, non-melanoma skin cancer, indoor and outdoor tanning, artificial sun exposure and UV radiation.

Results:  Several papers reported that there are plenty of risk factors involved in the development of basal cell carcinoma including genetic alterations, intense sun exposure, Northern European ethnic origin, light skin color, tendency to burn rather than tan, history of blistering sunburns, tanning devices, immunosuppression, ionizing radiation and others.

Conclusions: Based on the literature review we identified that there are several main risk factors that can be associated with the development of basal cell carcinoma, from that the most principal is UV radiation and the population with fair skin has higher risk of getting basal cell carcinoma, although further prospective studies should be performed, that will establish the association between the existing and new risk factors and basal cell carcinoma, allowing to prevent the development of skin cancers.


Basal cell carcinoma, BCC, Non-melanoma skin cancer, Risk factors.

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