Basal Cell Cancer

Basal Cell Cancer is the most frequently occurring type of skin cancer. Otherwise known as Basal Cell Carcinoma, or BCCs, they are identified as unusual growths or lesions that appear in the skin’s basal cells — where new skin cells are produced as old ones die off.

Basal cell carcinomas normally develop on sun-exposed parts of the skin. The head and neck are the most affected areas, however, basal cell cancer can develop anywhere on the body, especially places that have been exposed to the sun.

What are the symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include a pearly white or waxy bump on the face, ears or neck. Often times, these bumps also include visible blood vessels and may bleed and develop a crust. For people with darker skin, these bumps may be brown or black.

Patches of skin on your chest and back that are scaly, brown or flesh-colored are also symptoms of BCCs. These patches can grow large over time.

Sometimes, white, waxy scars can develop. These are often over-looked and could be a sign for a different form of cancer, morpheaform basal cell carcinoma.

How do you Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma?

There are several treatments available. Options range from topical creams and ointments to surgery. It’s best to consult with a medically-trained professional when deciding which treatment is best. Possible treatments include the following:

Electrodesiccation and curettage involves the removal of the skin on the affected area with a scraping instrument. Then, the cancer is seared with an electric needle.

Surgical excision is a process by which a doctor cuts out the cancerous tissue and a portion of surrounding, healthy skin to help ensure that no cancerous cells remain.

Freezing or cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancer. This effectively kills cancers that are thin and don’t deeply penetrate the skin.

Mohs Microscopic Surgery removes the cancer cells layer-by-layer. Doctors will examine each layer until the cancer is no longer present. This is commonly considered the most effective treatment method available.

Topical ointments and creams are used when the BCCs are superficial and don’t penetrate deeply into the skin.

Advanced treatments may be necessary if the patient is unresponsive to other options or if the cancer has progressed.

The Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale provides skin cancer screenings and offers the most effective type of basal cell cancer treatment, Mohs microscopic surgery, on site. To schedule an appointment at the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale, call (480) 596-1110 today.