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Basal Cell Carcinoma and HIV
Sep 7, 2002

I just recently had basal cell carcinoma (BCC) removed from my upper back. I read that BCC is more common in people who have HIV and may occur in places not readily recieving sunlight. I was wondering if there is a connection between BCC and HIV.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a form of skin cancer and is usually related to sun exposure. It is not as dangerous as melanoma. I believe that Basal Cell Cancers are both more frequent and more aggressive in HIV-positive patients than in HIV-negative patients. Although I'm not sure this has been rigourously proven, I have many HIV patients in my practice who have and who have had BCC's. Perhaps it's just related to the sun-worshipping that many of my gay patients participated in during their youth. In any event, these basal cell cancers need to be aggressively removed. Otherwise they will grow and removal will be even more problematic.


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