Basal Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer Treatments
Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are curable in almost every case.
Treatment can be more complicated if the BCC has been neglected for an extended period, or if it develops in an awkward location, such as on the nose, ear or close to the eye. BCCs rarely extend to other body parts.
While BCC is a type of skin cancer, it rarely endangers the patient’s life.
Dermatologists at the PH Dermatology Cancer and Laser Surgery Center receive patients from Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and innovative skin care solutions.
How can a BCC be treated?
Surgery is the most common treatment for BCC. This involves cutting away the basal cell carcinoma in addition to some surrounding healthy skin around it. Local anesthesia is used to the numb the skin, and at times, the patient may require a skin graft to close the wound.
Other dermatology treatment options include:
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
This surgical procedure is used for the treatment of more complicated BCCs, such as those at challenging anatomical areas or recurrent BCCs. In this procedure, the impacted skin is excised. This skin is examined under the microscope immediately to check if all of the BCC has been eliminated.
In case any basal cell carcinoma is remaining at the edge of the excision, more skin is removed from that area and checked under the microscope. This process is repeated until all BCCs are removed.
This procedure involves shining x-rays onto the site containing the BCC.
This is a form of chemotherapy that has currently become available for the treatment of complicated BCC, including locally advanced BCCs or rare cases of BCC that have spread to other body areas.
Curettage and Cautery
In this procedure, the skin is numbed with a local anesthetic, and the BCC is cut away (curettage). Subsequently, the skin’s surface is closed using heat (cautery).
The basal cell carcinoma is frozen using liquid nitrogen.
These can be applied to the skin, and the two most commonly used creams are 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and imiquimod.
A special cream is applied to the BCC. This is then taken up by the cells that are annihilated due to exposure to a particular wavelength of light.
Surgical excision is the preferred treatment for BCC. However, the choice of other treatments will depend on the area and size of the BCC, the state of the adjacent skin, and the number of basal cell carcinomas to be treated as well as the medical condition of the patient.
Self-Care (What can I do?)
It is a good idea to see a doctor if a person notices scabs or marks on their skin, which are:
- Bleeding and never entirely healing
- Changing appearance in any manner
Checking the skin for changes every month is also advisable.
Sun Safety Tips
- Protect skin with clothing, and wear headwear that protects the neck, ears, and face along with a pair of UV protective sunglasses.
- Spend time in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is the strongest. Step out of the sun before the skin starts to redden or burn.
PH Dermatology Cancer & Laser Surgery Center, led by board certified dermatologists, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Spring Hill, Florida and surrounding communities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.