General and Systemic Histopathology, C601&C602
    Slide 93: Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin
    Even in this blurry scan of the tissue, you can see the little nests of basal cell carcinoma.

    See this slide with the virtual microscope.

    Basal cell carcinomas are without a doubt the most common skin malignancy in humans, and are directly associated with sun exposure and solar damage to the skin. They are found most often on the face. In fact, something like 80% of them are found above a line from the corner of the mouth to the lower tip of the ear. They are of fairly low invasive potential and generally expand by radial growth. They may involve local, contiguous structures, but almost never metastasize, unlike their malignant squamous cell counterparts. Although some basal cell carcinomas show varying degrees of "skin appendage maturation," that is to say they may look a little like hair shafts or sebaceous glands, the hallmark histological feature is the peripheral palisade arrangement of the cells in the individual clusters. The outer layer of cells line up like a little picket fence, and this feature is a dead giveaway as to what you are looking at. 

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