Basal Cell Carcinoma
Excessive sun and ultra-violet light exposure are thought to be the number one risks for developing Basal Cell Carcinoma. As such, basal cell carcinoma most commonly occurs on areas of the skin which are exposed to sunlight, especially the face, head, and neck. Still, these cancers can be found on any area of the body.
Basal cell cancer typically starts with a small spot and continues growing, gradually yet relentlessly without treatment. Some patients describe these lesions as sores that never heal, or a pimple that appears and continues to grow without resolving. Basal cell cancers are locally destructive and can lead to significant disfigurement if left untreated. These cancers steadily increase in size, but they do not spread to distant regions of the body and or internal tissue.
If you have a suspected basal cell carcinoma, a skin biopsy and microscopic examination is necessary to determine whether a growth is cancerous.
There are multiple ways to treat basal cell cancer, including topical chemotherapy and immune modulating creams, local destruction of the cancer, and surgery including Mohs micrographic surgery. The type of treatment selected is individualized to the patient and their cancer. Your dermatologist can help select the best treatment for you.
Having one skin cancer puts you at risk for developing others. You should therefore arrange to have your skin checked periodically by your dermatologist. If you become concerned about a skin growths appear, contact your dermatologist immediately.
As mentioned above, skin cancers are influenced by the total sun exposure an individual gets over his/her lifetime. While some of the damage may already have been done, you can prevent further skin injury by using sunscreens. You should use a sunscreen that is “Broad Spectrum” and with a Sun Protective Factor (SPF) of 30 or over. You can still enjoy the sunshine and outdoor activities – just remember to put your sunscreen on exposed areas (e.g. face, arms, hands and legs) 15 minutes before going out in the sun, and wear sun protective clothing.
Contact Sanova Dermatology
If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists, please contact us today.