Basal cell carcinoma, also called BCC, is a common type of non-melanoma skin cancer. It’s usually found in areas with a lot of sun exposure. If you have BCC, it’s essential to visit your doctor immediately to determine if your cancer has spread beyond the surface layer of your skin.
What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is skin cancer affecting around 3.6 million Americans annually. It’s typically found in areas exposed to the sun for long periods, such as your face, neck, hands, and arms.
People who have fair skin or light-colored eyes are more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than those with darker complexions because their skin has less protection from UV rays in sunlight. But anyone can get it, even if you spend most of your time indoors or wear sunscreen daily.
Basal cell carcinoma can be treated and cured if caught early enough. However, once it spreads beyond its original site, it becomes harder to treat successfully and may continue to spread until it reaches other body parts, such as the lungs or brain.
If this happens, there is no cure for metastatic cancer. Still, treatments will help relieve symptoms and reduce side effects caused by chemotherapy therapy so that you can enjoy life more fully while living longer than expected with some quality left in it.
Causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma
There are several causes of basal cell carcinoma. Here are some of the common causes:
- Sun exposure. UV light from the sun can damage your skin and cause you to develop BCC.
- Genetic factors. People with fair hair, light eyes, and a tendency to freckle are more likely to develop this cancer than people with darker skin tones or those who tan well.
- Radiation therapy. If you’ve had radiation therapy for other cancers, it may have increased your risk of developing BCC later in life.
- Skin conditions. Some basal cell carcinoma patients have immune system disorders that leave them vulnerable to this type of cancer. Other BCC patients develop it after several years of severe acne or psoriasis on their face or scalp.
There are also many risk factors for BCC. A study was conducted to determine the association between age, sex, race, and geographic region. According to the study, BCC is more common in young females.
Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Some common symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include:
- A small, red bump or pimple
- Ulceration that bleeds easily when touched
- Enlargement and distortion of a small area on your skin
Treatments for Basal Cell Carcinoma
There are many treatment options available for BCC. It is vital to treat BCC because it can have severe consequences. According to studies, BCC can lead to the development of multiple cancer types, including melanoma, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, etc.
Hence, you should take utmost care when selecting a dermatologist for treatment. One of the most crucial factors is the expertise of the dermatologist. Another thing is the location. If you opt for a local dermatology center, you can get assurance of quick treatment as you won’t have to travel far during any medical emergency. Hence, if you are in Brookly, it is best to seek a dermatologist in Brookly.
You can schedule your appointment with dermatologists at Doral Dermatology Center if you are in Brooklyn, New York. At Doral, you will find a reputed and trustworthy dermatologist in Brooklyn to help you with your needs.
All dermatologists at Doral have the expertise and tools required to offer enhanced treatment and care. These dermatologists can also inspect the presence of any other skin conditions and treat them. They can help you with skin conditions, including acne, alopecia, excessive sweating, etc.
Basal cell carcinoma is treated with surgery. Surgery is the most common way to treat basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers because it’s highly effective and can be performed in various settings.
Surgery is often performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation, so you may be awake during the procedure but lightly sedated. Surgery may also be an outpatient procedure that requires you to stay overnight at the hospital after a thorough examination. You’ll likely see your dermatologist again for follow-up visits every few months until all signs of cancer have disappeared.
Additionally, if the lesion is small, the surgery for BCC can be straightforward. According to a study published on the NCBI website, a general practitioner can help you with the surgery for small lesions. However, it is best to seek help from dermatologists as they have the right knowledge to help you.
Cryosurgery is freezing cancer cells with liquid nitrogen or a laser. It treats small skin cancers and can cure basal cell carcinoma. This treatment can be done in an office setting on an outpatient basis and often requires no stitches afterward.
Cryosurgery is one of the most commonly used treatments. According to a study published on the NCBI website, more than half of the treatments are done using cryosurgery. The study found that 54% of BCCs were treated using cryosurgery, 31% by excision, 7% by photodynamic therapy, and 8% by other methods.
In some cases, more aggressive treatments may be necessary for larger tumors or those that have spread beyond their original location in the skin. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your cancerous growths and possibly some surrounding healthy tissue.
If you were diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, your doctor would likely suggest chemotherapy as part of the treatment plan. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be combined with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is given intravenously, usually over several days or weeks, in regular intervals until the tumor shrinks enough to be removed surgically or until it goes away entirely on its own.
Side effects can range from mild to severe, including nausea and vomiting, hair loss, mouth sores, and diarrhea. If you’re considering having chemotherapy for basal cell carcinoma, let your doctor know if you have any health conditions, such as heart problems, that might affect how well it works for you.
One of the most effective treatments for basal cell carcinoma is radiation therapy. It involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy treats several cancers and can be used at different stages in a patient’s treatment, depending on their type or stage.
Radiation therapy can also be used with other treatments like surgery for basal cell carcinoma that has spread to other body parts. Radiation therapy may also be an option for people with recurrent basal cell carcinoma who want another chance at controlling their disease without undergoing surgery again.
It is important to know that not all basal cell tumors require treatment, but if you are in close contact with the sun or other ultraviolet light sources, it is best to have your doctor check for signs of cancer at regular intervals. Additional therapy may be needed if a biopsy confirms that you have BCC. However, some people can go through life without ever needing treatment.