Basal cell carcinoma occurs when a basal cell develops a mutation in its DNA. This subsequently causes the basal cell to multiply swiftly, resulting in an accumulation of abnormal cells that form a cancerous tumor, states Mayo Clinic.
Intense intermittent recreational sun exposure is the major known environmental factor associated with basal cell carcinoma. Other factors, such as exposure to petroleum by-products, organophosphate compounds and arsenic, are also associated with basal cell carcinoma, according to the National Cancer Institute. Additionally, individuals with lighter pigmented skin, solid-organ transplant recipients and a family history of any skin cancer demonstrate a higher incidence of basal cell carcinoma.