Basal Cell Carcinoma
Skin cancer is divided into two major groups: nonmelanoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 75% of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas.
Basal cell carcinoma starts in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It grows slowly and is painless. A new skin growth that bleeds easily or does not heal well may suggest basal cell carcinoma. The majority of these cancers occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. They may also appear on the scalp. Basal cell skin cancer used to be more common in people over age 40, but is now often diagnosed in younger people.
Your risk for basal cell skin cancer is higher if you have:
- Light-colored skin
- Blue or green eyes
- Blond or red hair
- Overexposure to x-rays or other forms of radiation
Basil Cell Cancer
Basal cell carcinoma may look only slightly different than normal skin. The cancer may appear as skin bump or growth that is:
- Pearly or waxy
- White or light pink
- Flesh-colored or brown
You may have:
- A skin sore that bleeds easily
- A sore that does not heal
- Oozing or crusting spots in a sore
- Appearance of a scar-like sore without having injured the area
- Irregular blood vessels in or around the spot
- A sore with a depressed (sunken) area in the middle
If your doctor is suspicious of skin cancer then they will cut out the abnormal section of skin which is called a biopsy.
Skin Cancer Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma Cancer presented by Dr. Shane Chapman
- Excision cuts the tumor out and uses stitches to place the skin back together.
- Curettage and electrodesiccation scrapes away the cancer and uses electricity to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Surgery, including Mohs surgery, in which skin is cut out and immediately looked at under a microscope to check for cancer. The process is repeated until the skin sample is free of cancer.
- Cryosurgery freezes and kills the cancer cells.
- Radiation may be used if the cancer has spread to organs or lymph nodes or for tumors that can't be treated with surgery.
- Skin creams with the medications imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil may be used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma.
- For more information go to: www.mayoclinic.com ; www.nih.gov