If non-melanoma skin cancer spreads
Cancer cells can spread from the skin to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis. But most non-melanoma skin cancers do not spread to other parts of the body.
Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), if left untreated, can grow into nearby skin, cartilage, bone and other tissues. In very rare cases, it may spread to nearby lymph nodes, the lungs and bone that is farther from where the cancer started.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) doesn’t usually spread to other parts of the body, but it is more likely than BCC to spread. If left untreated, SCC can grow deeper into the skin. Sometimes it can spread to nearby lymph nodes. In rare cases, it can spread to bone, the lungs or other organs.
Funding world-class research
Cancer affects all Canadians but together we can reduce the burden by investing in research and prevention efforts. Learn about the impact of our funded research.