Around 80% of skin cancer cases are basal cell carcinoma. Although this type of skin cancer is the most prevalent, it can be challenging to identify and cure. The good news is that early basal cell carcinoma diagnosis and treatment can lead to recovery. It starts by identifying risk factors associated with this cancer type.
Let’s talk about the most common risks associated with basal cell carcinoma and where you can go for the treatment of this condition in Miami, FL.
Almost half the people with basal cell carcinoma return within five years of their original diagnosis. By that time, they may have a second case of the disease.
Treatment for recurrent basal cell carcinoma typically involves surgical removal. Depending on each case, patients can also undergo radiation therapy or receive topical treatments.
Basal Cell Carcinoma rarely spreads to other body parts, a process called metastasis. But in rare cases, when it does, it can be deadly.
The adverse effects of metastasis in basal cell carcinoma can be life-threatening and may include:
- Organ damage
- Systemic illness
Treatment options for metastatic basal cell carcinoma depend on the extent of the cancer. Some treatments include:
- Surgical removal
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Increased Risk for Other Forms of Skin Cancer
Basal cell carcinoma may make other skin cancers more aggressive and more likely to spread if the patient already has it. Examples are melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Adverse effects of skin cancer can include:
- Damage to surrounding tissue, especially if left untreated
In advanced cases, skin cancer can spread to other body parts. The disease can also become life-threatening.
The treatment options for other skin cancer forms are similar to basal cell carcinoma.
Depending on the cancer type and stage, doctors may recommend surgical removal, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Other Life-threatening Side Effects
Although rare, a life-threatening side effect of basal cell carcinoma is the invasion of vital structures such as the brain. This can result in serious neurological complications.
Other common side effects of basal cell carcinoma include:
- Disfigurement and damage to surrounding tissue
- Rare risk of metastasis leading to life-threatening complications
When to Visit Your Doctor for Basal Cell Carcinoma Diagnosis
Contact your doctor right away if you observe any of these:
- Unexpected skin growths
- Changes in existing moles or lesions
- Chronic skin sores that do not heal
Your healthcare provider will assist you in the following areas:
A skin biopsy can confirm the presence of malignant cells in basal cell carcinoma. Additional tests may be required to assess the cancer stage and explain therapy options.
The lesion’s type, size, and location influence treatment options for basal cell carcinoma.
For early-stage tumors, surgical excision is a typical procedure for removing malignant tissue and has a high success rate. Your doctor will get rid of the growth through surgery.
Mohs surgery removes the tumor layer by layer while preserving healthy tissue. This surgical procedure is often used for large, recurrent, or high-risk basal cell carcinoma lesions.
Other possible treatments that can help are:
- Topical medicines
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
Your doctor will collaborate with you on a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. They will also take the features of the malignancy into account.
Basal cell carcinoma can be prevented by limiting your exposure to the sun and taking precautions to protect your skin. You can begin by:
- Wearing protective clothing
- Staying in the shade
- Using sunscreen with a high SPF
Regular skin inspections and examinations can also support the early detection of possible skin abnormalities.
People with fair skin or those with a family history of basal cell carcinoma are more prone to developing it. Doctors recommend regular skin checks for these patients.
The general health of the skin may be enhanced with a healthy lifestyle that includes:
- Exercising frequently
- Eating a balanced diet
- Abstaining from tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol drinking
Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment in Miami, FL
If you are susceptible to developing skin cancer, examine your skin regularly to discover the early signs of cancer. You must also visit your dermatologist regularly for a thorough physical exam.
At Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, our dermatologist, Dr. Theodore John “TJ” Giuffrida, can detect the signs of skin cancer early, provide comprehensive surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and also educate you on how you can prevent skin cancer from developing in the first place.
To learn more about how we can assist you, call us today at (305) 461-2000. You can also use our online appointment request form to book a visit with our top dermatologists.