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J Cutan Pathol. 2017 Aug;44(8):677-683. doi: 10.1111/cup.12959. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Superficial basal cell carcinoma: A comparison of superficial only subtype with superficial combined with other subtypes by age, sex and anatomic site in 3150 cases.

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The University of Queensland, Herston, Brisbane, Australia.
The University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, Australia.



Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) may present as superficial subtype alone (sBCC) or superficial combined with other subtypes. The objective of this study was to compare sBCC without or with other BCC subtypes by age, sex and anatomic site.


We retrospectively collected superficial BCC with the above characteristics from an Australian center during 2009 to 2014.


We recorded 1528 sBCC and 1622 superficial BCC combined with other BCC subtype cases. Males numbered 2007 and females 1140. On males, head sites (forehead, cheek, nose and ear combined) compared to limb plus trunk sites displayed a higher incidence of superficial BCC combined with either nodular and or aggressive BCC subtypes (OR 13.15 CI 95% 8.9-19.5 P < .0001). On females a similar comparison also found a higher incidence of superficial BCC combined with solid subtype BCC on head sites compared to trunk and limb sites (OR 9.66 CI 95% 5.8-16.1 P < .0001).


Superficial BCC alone is more likely on younger females on trunk and limb sites. Small partial biopsies reported as sBCC may miss other BCC subtypes present with higher risk on facial sites for males and females. Males had smaller proportions of superficial only subtype BCC on facial and ear sites compared to females.


aggressive basal cell carcinoma; anatomic site; head and neck; nodular basal cell carcinoma; superficial basal cell carcinoma

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