Veterinary Society of
Surgical Oncology

General Considerations

  • benign tumor arising from basal cells of the epidermis, hair follicles, or sweat or sebaceous glands
  • basal cell carcinomas may be induced by ultraviolet radiation
  • basal cell carcinomas account for 4%-12% of canine skin tumors
  • mean age 6-9 years
  • breed predisposition: Cocker Spaniel
  • sites: head, neck, and shoulders
  • gross appearance: solitary, well-circumscribed, freely movable, and pigmented, solid, or cystic ± ulcerated in cats
  • metastasis is rare but local tumor recurrence after incomplete excision is possible
  • treatment: surgery or cryosurgery (if < 1 cm)
  • prognosis: excellent


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