What is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the basal cells. It often appears as a somewhat transparent bump on the skin. This form of skin cancer often appears in areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the head and neck.
Basal cell carcinoma takes place when one of the skin’s basal cells develops a mutation. This mutation causes the basal cells to multiply quickly and continue growing. This accumulation of abnormal cells may cause a cancerous tumor to form.
Common signs of basal cell carcinoma include:
- A skin-colored, pearly white, or pink bump. This lesion may rupture, bleed, and scab over.
- A brown, black, or blue lesion with a translucent border.
- A scaly, flat, red patch that may grow quite large.
- A waxy, white, scar-like lesion.
Certain individuals may have an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma, including those:
- With regular sun exposure.
- With fair skin.
- Who are older in age.
- Who take immune-suppressing drugs.
- Who have inherited syndromes that cause skin cancer.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
The main goal of basal cell carcinoma treatment is to completely remove all cancer cells. The treatment that is right for you will be dependent on the type, location, and size of the cancer, as well as your preference. Common treatment options include:
During this technique, the doctor will cut out the cancerous lesion and a surrounding area of healthy skin. This is examined under a microscope to ensure that all cancer cells have been removed.
During Mohs surgery, the cancer is removed layer by layer, and each layer is examined under a microscope. This process is continued until no abnormal cells remain.
Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze cancer cells. This is often an option for treating more superficial skin lesions.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
This treatment involves removing the surface of the skin cancer using a special instrument called a curet. The base of the cancer is then seared with an electric needle. This technique is used for treating small basal cell carcinomas that are less likely to return.
Sometimes prescription creams are considered for treating small and thin basal cell carcinomas.
Superficial Radiation Therapy
This treatment uses superficial radiation that only goes skin deep to kill and effectively remove the targeted cancer cells. It is a good choice for patients who are older, on blood thinners, suffer from other medical issues, or have lesions on areas of the body that would be difficult to repair. SRT has a cure rate of 95%. Dr. Erwin offers this treatment in her office in partnership with SkinCure.
Candidates for Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
Anyone who has the signs or symptoms of basal cell carcinoma or those who have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma can benefit from treatment. It is important that you be seen by a dermatologist if you have seen changes in the appearance of your skin, such as a change in a previous growth or a new growth. The best way to determine which treatment option is best for you is through a consultation appointment with our skilled dermatologist, Dr. Erwin. During this appointment, she will examine your skin and may take a skin biopsy in order to reveal whether or not skin cancer is present, and if so, what type of skin cancer.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about basal cell skin cancer and possible treatment options, contact our office today by calling (979) 612-2761 or completing the online form! We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, as well as assist you in scheduling your initial consultation appointment.