Basal cell carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer, with approximately 3.6 million Americans diagnosed each year. It occurs in the basal cells, which is part of the skin that produces skin cells as old ones die off. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears like a small, flesh-colored, or white bump on the skin, occurring anywhere on the body, but most commonly on sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, and hands.
Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread to other parts of the body and are considered to be low risk. However, if left untreated, they can grow large and cause disfigurement. Treatment for basal cell carcinoma typically involves surgery to remove the tumor. Here are some facts you need to know about basal cell carcinoma treatment.
What Treatments Are Available for Basal Cell Carcinoma?
The goal of basal cell carcinoma treatment is to remove the skin cancer completely. Surgery is usually needed to do this. If the skin carcinoma is not likely to recur, then excision surgery may be recommended by the doctor.
A most advanced surgery – Mohs micrographic surgery – can remove the entire skin cancer while preserving the healthy tissue surrounding it. This state-of-the-art treatment also allows the doctor to remove the skin cancer layer by layer until no cancerous cells remain. Mohs surgery is usually recommended if the basal cell carcinoma is large, deep, and more likely to recur. Basal skin carcinomas commonly recur, and Mohs surgery may be the first surgical treatment option recommended by a dermatologist.
For smaller basal cell carcinoma, electrodesiccation and curettage (ED & C) may be an appropriate treatment. It involves the use of an electric needle to destroy the cancerous cells and then scrape them away with a surgical instrument called a curette. This treatment is also typically used for small, superficial tumors that have not spread to other parts of the body.
For patients who are not eligible for surgery, different treatment options may be recommended. Topical chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy are just some of the non-surgical methods for basal cell carcinoma.
Important considerations that affect what treatments doctors prescribe are the size of the skin cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. A patient’s age and overall health are also a consideration, as elderly patients or those with certain medical conditions may not have surgery as an option.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment in Miami, Florida
For the expert treatment of skin cancer by a board-certified and fellowship-trained dermatologist, choose Dr. T.J. Giuffrida at the Dermatology and Skin Care Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Giuffrida is one of the most recognized skin cancer doctors and Mohs surgeons in the United States. It is important to choose an experienced skin cancer doctor for your treatment, as not all dermatologists are highly experienced in treating skin cancer.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Giuffrida, call our Miami dermatology office and skin cancer center today at (305) 461-2000 or use our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.