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March 1996

Clinical and Histopathological Characteristics of Basal Cell Carcinoma in Japanese Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(3):320-324. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890270096014

Background:  Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) does not commonly occur in the African and Asian races. Thus, there have been few reviews that have described the clinical overview of BCC among Japanese patients. There have been no large-scale analyses, including the histopathological features of BCC, except for the white race. We retrospectively examined 243 Japanese patients with BCC and analyzed the color of the tumors, the patient's age at which these tumors occurred, the site of the lesions, the histopathological patterns, and the incidence of recurrence and metastasis of the tumors; we compared these features with those in the other races statistically.

Observations:  Clinically, approximately 75% of the tumors were pigmented and showed a so-called black pearly appearance. The male-female ratio was 0.97, and the average age of the patients was 59 years. Seventy-five percent of the tumors occurred on the head and neck. Fifty-four percent of the tumors showed a solid type of histopathological pattern. The incidence of recurrence and metastasis is extremely rare.

Conclusion:  The high incidence of hyperpigmentation in the lesional skin of BCC is the most characteristic feature of BCCs in Japanese patients.(Arch Dermatol. 1996;132:320-324)