Although not as aggressive as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a malignant growth in itself, and thus, should not be ignored. If left untreated, BCC can grow larger and deeper into the skin, cause disfigurement, and even death.
It stands to reason that you need to exercise vigilance especially if you have risk factors for the condition, such as excessive exposure to UV radiation (sunlight and tanning beds), fair skin, family history, and older age.
Below, you’ll learn about the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma as well as the treatment options available for it.
Warning Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma
As its name implies, BCC originates in the basal cells – those found at the bottom of the outermost layer of your skin (epidermis). Basal cells replace the old skin cells that die off with new ones.
BCC occurs when basal cells multiply uncontrollably, and it develops in areas of your skin that are frequently exposed to sunlight.
The following are some of the warning signs of BCC. If you notice them, don’t wait to see a skin cancer expert for prompt diagnosis and intervention.
- Translucent or skin-colored bump- You may even see tiny blood vessels inside the bump. It may also bleed and develop a scab.
- Black, brown, or blue lesions– with dark spots and a slightly raised, translucent border
- Flat, scaly patch but has a raised edge
- Waxy, white, scar-like lesion with a clearly defined border
- Reddish patch that can crust, hurt, or itch
Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, your dermatologist will recommend the most suitable treatment option for you. Below are the modalities most commonly used in the treatment of BCC.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery – This specialized method removes the entire skin cancer while sparing as much normal skin as possible. Not only does Mohs surgery have the highest cure rate when it comes to treating skin cancer (up to 99 percent for new skin cancers and 95 percent for recurrent skin cancers), but it is the most effective method for removing tumors in hard-to-treat areas.
- Electrodessication and Curettage (ED&C) – This procedure involves your dermatologist scraping and burning the tumor using low levels of electric current to destroy the cancer cells. This option is often recommended for small basal cell carcinomas that have developed in the middle and outer layers of the skin.
- Surgical Excision– This involves surgically removing the tumor along with a predetermined amount of healthy skin around it.
Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma in Miami-Dade County, Florida
If you have risk factors for BCC, don’t let it define your destiny. Visit us here at Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Coral Gables, Florida, especially if you’ve noticed skin changes that warrant expert evaluation. Our highly skilled dermatologist Dr. Theodore John “TJ” Giuffrida delivers timely and accurate diagnosis and unmatched treatment outcomes for BCC and all other types of skin cancer.