Basal cell carcinoma

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Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the basal cells where new skin is created.

 

Like most skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma is more likely to appear if a person has had a lot of sun exposure in their lifetime.

 

It appears as a growth or opening on the skin that won't heal. It should also look like one or more of the stated symptoms below. If any of these apply, you should see a dermatologist right away to assess the area.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

The doctor will usually do a skin exam and a skin biopsy to check for cancer.

 

The most common treatment for basal cell carcinoma is surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and the surrounding area. If surgery isn't an option, other treatments that might be considered include

  • a curettage and electrodessication (removal of skin and burning the base with an electric needle)
  • radiation
  • freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery)
  • perscription creams
  • photodynamic therapy (photosensitizing drugs are used in combination with light.)

 

In rare cases if the cancer has spread, the doctor may discuss with you both targeted drug therapy and chemotherapy. It is important to pay attention and date any new irregular looking areas on your skin and have your dermatologist take a look.

 

Talk to me.

 

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the basal cells where new skin is created.

 

Like most skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma is more likely to appear if a person has had a lot of sun exposure in their lifetime.

 

It appears as a growth or opening on the skin that won't heal. It should also look like one or more of the stated symptoms below. If any of these apply, you should see a dermatologist right away to assess the area.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

Basal cell carcinoma

The doctor will usually do a skin exam and a skin biopsy to check for cancer.

 

The most common treatment for basal cell carcinoma is surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and the surrounding area. If surgery isn't an option, other treatments that might be considered include

  • a curettage and electrodessication (removal of skin and burning the base with an electric needle)
  • radiation
  • freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery)
  • perscription creams
  • photodynamic therapy (photosensitizing drugs are used in combination with light.)

 

In rare cases if the cancer has spread, the doctor may discuss with you both targeted drug therapy and chemotherapy. It is important to pay attention and date any new irregular looking areas on your skin and have your dermatologist take a look.

 

Symptom list:

Basal cell carcinoma