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Here are all the mnemonics you ever wanted on Basal Cell Carcinoma. These mnemonics covers all aspects of the disease/health condition 

Causes of BCC:

Mnemonic: SUNRAY

S – Sun exposure (UV radiation)

U – Ultraviolet light tanning devices

N – Nevi (mole) proliferation

R – Radiation therapy history

A – Albinism or other genetic conditions affecting skin pigment

Y – Years of outdoor work or activities


Triggers for BCC:

Mnemonic: LIGHT

L – Long-term sun exposure

I – Immunosuppression

G – Genetic predisposition

H – History of skin cancers

T – Tanning bed use


Risk Factors For BCC:

Mnemonic: SKIN

S – Sunlight excessive exposure

K – Keratinocyte damage history

I – Immunosuppressive drugs or conditions

N – Northern European descent


Warning Signs of BCC:

Mnemonic: SPOTS

S – Sores that don’t heal

P – Pearly nodules

O – Outgrowths (bumpy and raised)

T – Telangiectasia (tiny blood vessels visible on nodules)

S – Shiny bumps or lesions


Predisposing Factors of BCC:

Mnemonic: GENES

G – Genetic factors (fair skin, freckles, light hair)

E – Environmental factors (UV exposure)

N – Nevi (abnormal moles) count

E – Exposure history to radiation or carcinogens

S – Skin type (I or II – particularly sensitive to sun)


Signs & Symptoms of BCC:

Mnemonic: BLEED

B – Bleeding from minor injury

L – Lesion growth

E – Elevated above skin surface

E – Edges are rolled or poorly defined

D – Discoloration (pale, pink or red)


Characteristic Findings In BCC:

Mnemonic: PEARL

P – Pearly or waxy appearance

E – Elevated border

A – Asymptomatic (usually)

R – Rolled edges

L – Lesion grows slowly


What Should Be Avoided In BCC:

Mnemonic: UV BAD

U – Unprotected sun exposure

V – Vitamin D overexposure

B – Burns from sun

A – Aggressive chemical exposures

D – Delay in seeking medical advice


Drugs Used To Treat BCC:

Mnemonic: CURE

C – Chemotherapy topicals (e.g., 5-fluorouracil)

U – Unna’s boot (dressing)

R – Radiation therapy

E – Excisional surgery


Drugs To Avoid In BCC:

Mnemonic: RISK

R – Retinoids (if not prescribed, can interfere with treatments)

I – Immunosuppressants (can increase risk of skin cancer)

S – Steroids (excessive use can worsen skin conditions)

K – Keratolytics (if not recommended, as they can irritate lesions)


Radiological Features of BCC:

Mnemonic: SMALL

S – Small lesion size typically

M – Margins ill-defined on scans

A – Asymmetrical shape in advanced cases

L – Low metastatic potential

L – Lesions more superficial


Diagnostic Tests for BCC:

Mnemonic: BIOPSY

B – Biopsy (punch, shave, or excisional)

I – Imaging (rarely used, mostly for metastasis check)

O – Observation of lesion characteristics

P – Pathology report post-biopsy

S – Skin examination (full-body)

Y – Yearly check-ups for high-risk individuals


Laboratory Findings In BCC:

Mnemonic: CELLS

C – Clusters of basal cells in biopsy

E – Elevated levels of certain markers (rare)

L – Lesion cells with palisading nuclei

L – Lack of significant inflammatory response

S – Sun-damaged skin surrounding the lesion


Indications of BCC Medications:

Mnemonic: TREAT

T – To remove or reduce lesion

R – Reduce risk of recurrence

E – Eliminate cancerous cells

A – Alleviate symptoms (pain, itching)

T – Treat pre-cancerous conditions (actinic keratosis)


Side effects of BCC Medications:

Mnemonic: SIDE

S – Skin irritation

I – Immune response alteration

D – Dryness or scaling of skin

E – Erythema (redness)


Clinical Features of BCC:

Mnemonic: GROWTH

G – Gradual growth

R – Raised, rolled edges

O – Often in sun-exposed areas

W – Waxy, pearly appearance

T – Telangiectasia (visible blood vessels)

H – Hard to distinguish margins


Complications of BCC:

Mnemonic: ULCER

U – Ulceration

L – Localized tissue destruction

C – Cosmetic disfigurement

E – Expansion into underlying tissues

R – Rare metastasis


Differential Diagnosis of BCC:

Mnemonic: SKIN SPOT

S – Squamous cell carcinoma

K – Keratoacanthoma

I – Intradermal nevus

N – Nevus sebaceous

S – Seborrheic keratosis

P – Psoriasis

O – Other adnexal tumors

T – Traumatic lesions

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department