Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment in Peoria, AZ
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) – Small, fleshy bumps and nodules, called lesions or tumors, which are a form of skin cancer. It is the most common type of skin cancer and it is caused by previous sunlight and other ultraviolet light, both UVA and UVB. Most BCCs occur in areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. The head, neck, arms, and back are the most common areas for BCCs to occur, however BCCs can occur anywhere on the body.
BCCs are usually, but not always, slow growing lesions and rarely spread to other parts of the body. If a lesion is left untreated for several years it may continue to grow and invade deeper layers of tissue into supportive structure such as bone or cartilage. The surgical procedures required to remove these lesions once they have grown and invaded other deeper structures is much more involved and may leave the patient disfigured and in need of reconstructive surgery. If a BCC is treated early this is generally not the case.
FYI- 36-50% of the people who have had 1 BCC will develop another skin cancer within 5 years. Because these statistics are so high, it is important to practice good sun protection: wear a wide brimmed hat, get a good sun screen, and get regular skin checks by a qualified physician.
Treatments for Basal Cell Carcinoma:
- Curettage: is a process in which the lesion is scrapped off the skin and the electrocartery is then used to destroy any remaining cancer cells and stop any bleeding.
- Radiation: can be used on lesions that might require difficult or extensive surgery or where cosmetic outcomes might be less than desirable. Examples might be: the eyelids, nose or, ears. Radiation therapy might be a good option for hard-to-treat areas or for patients that might not be able to tolerate a traditional surgery due to poor health.
- Excision: is the removal of the lesion that includes a margin of tissue, which is then closed with sutures. The tissue is then sent to a qualified lab where the tissue is processed and read under a microscope by a pathologist who is qualified to read and diagnose such lesions.
- Mohs micrographic surgery: is a specialized type of surgery that involves removing the lesion in stages, one layer at a time. A surgeon that is specialized the Mohs technique will examine the tissue under a microscope and determine when the cancer is completely removed. This procedure allows for the surgeon to remove less healthy tissue than traditional excisions. This procedure has the lowest recurrence rates of all skin cancer treatment methods. However, not all skin cancers can be treated with Mohs; it is dependent on the size, depth, and location of the lesion.
- Topical drug treatments: Imiquimod is a medication that can be applied to the lesion to shrink, or in some cases destroy, the BCC.
- Cryosurgery: is a process by which the lesion is frozen using Liquid Nitrogen to kill the cancerous tissue
For More Information:
American Academy of Dermatology
American Cancer Society
Skin Cancer Foundation
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: (800) 422-6237