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Surgery wound for excision of a BCC skin cancer with skin graft on the nose of a senior.

Skin Cancer Basal Cell

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, typically resulting from intense sun exposure. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the cancerous cells, but in some cases, topical treatments, laser therapy, or radiation may be used. 

Skin Cancer Basal Cell

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, primarily affecting areas of the skin that have been repeatedly exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, and arms. While it's a cancer that rarely spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, BCC can be locally aggressive, damaging the tissue surrounding it, if not detected and treated early. The main culprit behind BCC is prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds.

Signs and Symptoms of BCC

BCC often manifests as a painless raised area of skin, which might appear shiny with small blood vessels running over it. Alternatively, it can present as a recurring sore, a red patch, a pink growth, or even a scar-like spot. Given its varied appearances, any new or changing skin growths should be promptly evaluated.

The Dermatologist's Role in Detecting and Treating BCC

 

  1. Early Detection: Regular skin check-ups with a dermatologist can lead to early detection of BCC, when it's easiest to treat. Dermatologists use a combination of visual inspection and a dermatoscope, a specialized magnifying tool, to examine suspicious spots.

  2. Biopsy: If a suspicious lesion is identified, the dermatologist will take a biopsy, removing a small portion of the skin for laboratory analysis to determine the presence of cancerous cells.

  3. Treatment Options:

    • Excisional Surgery: The tumor is cut out, along with some surrounding healthy skin.

    • Mohs Surgery: Layers of the cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.

    • Electrodesiccation and Curettage: The tumor is scraped off with a curette, and the base is seared with an electric needle.

    • Cryosurgery: Freezing the tumor, causing it to slough off.

    • Topical Treatments: Certain creams, gels, and solutions can treat some BCCs.

    • Radiation Therapy: Used for BCCs that are hard to treat with other methods.

 

  1. Preventive Education: Dermatologists play an essential role in educating patients about the importance of sun protection, including the regular use of sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding peak sunlight hours, to prevent BCC and other skin cancers.

  2. Follow-up: Even after successful treatment, it's crucial for patients to maintain regular dermatological check-ups as having one BCC increases the risk of developing another.

 

 

Basal Cell Carcinoma, although common and slow-growing, can lead to significant disfigurement and complications if left untreated. The role of the dermatologist is not only in the treatment but also in the prevention, early detection, and education of the patient. With their expertise, BCC can often be treated effectively, emphasizing the importance of regular skin examinations and protective measures against harmful UV radiation.

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(310) 975-9785

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