Understanding Basal Cell Carcinoma: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer in the basal cells. Basal cells are present within the skin, producing new skin cells as old cells die off. These cells are in the epidermis’s deepest layer, the skin’s outermost layer. BCC often appears on skin areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. However, it can develop on any part of the body. It typically presents as a raised, pearly bump, a pinkish patch of skin that does not heal. Treatment to remove BCC from your skin leads to a favorable prognosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on your face and neck as these are the most common to sun exposure. It can also develop on body parts not exposed to the sun, such as the genitals. BCC appears as a change in the skin, such as a sore that won’t heal. The common symptoms of basal cell cancer include the following.
- A translucent, shiny, skin-colored bump, meaning you can see a bit through the surface. The spot can look white or pink on white skin and brown or glossy black on brown and Black skin. The bump may bleed and scab over.
- The tumor may be raised and have a slightly rolled border with tiny blood vessels visible on the surface.
- A flat, scaly patch with a raised edge. They can grow quite large.
- A reddish patch or irritation on the affected area.
- A small pink growth with a slightly raised and rolled edge in the center may develop tiny blood vessels over time.
- A scar-like area that is flat, white, or yellow. The skin appears shiny, often with poorly defined borders.
What Are The Causes Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?
The most common reason for basal cell cancer is because your skin has too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) from sunlight or tanning beds. However, sun exposure is not the only factor that grows BCC. Other factors can also contribute to the development of basal skin cancer.
- Your genes give your DNA instructions to make new cells in the place of damaged cells. If a mutation affects your genes, your DNA won’t have the commands to make new cells.
- Moreover, if a genetic mutation targets your DNA, your basal cells may make too many cells, which causes lumps or lesions to form in the epidermis.
- A rare inherited condition called basal cell nevus syndrome or Gorlin’s syndrome causes BCC to appear in childhood.
- A family history of skin cancer, including BCC, may increase the risk of developing the condition.
- Radiation therapy may also increase the risk of BCC.
How Medical Professionals Diagnose Basal Cell Carcinoma
There are multiple ways to diagnose basal cell cancer. Your doctor will conduct one or more of these examinations to diagnose your BCC.
- Clinical Examination: Your doctor will conduct a thorough clinical examination. During this examination, they will examine skin lesions and their characteristics. The healthcare provider will also consider the lesion’s size, shape, color, and changes over time.
- Dermoscopy: Dermoscopy is a non-invasive technique that helps your doctor to closely examine skin lesions using a handheld device with a unique magnifying lens and light. It helps to visualize the lesion’s features.
- Biopsy: Your doctor will perform a biopsy If the clinical examination and dermoscopy raise concerns about BCC’s possibility. A biopsy involves the removal of a small sample of tissue from the affected area for further examination, called Histopathological examination.
- Histopathological Examination: A pathologist examines the sample under a microscope to determine if cancerous cells are present and the type of skin cancer. Histopathological examination is the definitive step in confirming the diagnosis of BCC.
- Additional Tests if required: If there are concerns about cancer’s extent or if it is a more aggressive subtype, other tests like ultrasound or MRI may be conducted to assess potential spread.
What Are The Treatments Available For Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Surgical and non-surgical treatment options are available for basal skin cancer. The best treatment depends on your cancer type, location, size, and preferences. Moreover, the goal of treatment for basal cell cancer is to remove the cancer altogether. Surgical treatments for basal cell carcinoma. Surgical procedures involve physically opening the body to access and treat a specific area or condition. They are generally more invasive than non-surgical methods. BCC is most often treated with surgery to remove all of the cancer.
- Surgical treatments for basal skin cancer are: Surgical excision: Your doctor will remove the cancerous lesion and the surrounding healthy skin. The excised tissue is then sent to a laboratory for pathological examination to confirm complete removal.Surgical excision is often a highly effective treatment for BCC, with a high cure rate. The primary goal is to remove the cancer while preserving the appearance and function of the affected area.
- Mohs surgery: In this procedure, your doctor removes the basal skin cancer layer by layer. Then, they examine each layer until no abnormal cells remain. Layer-by-layer examination allows the surgeon to remove cancer without harming the surrounding healthy skin.Mohs surgery might be used if your basal skin cancer is more extensive, extended, or more profound in the skin. It is also recommended if BCC is in your face and has a higher risk of recurring.
Other treatment options are available if you are unable to undergo surgery or don’t want to have surgery. Non-surgical treatments for basal skin cancer are:
- Curettage and electrodesiccation (C and E): It involves removing the surface of the skin cancer with a curet and then searing the area with a needle. Curettage and electrodesiccation might be an option for treating small BCCs that are less likely to recur. C and E are recommended for basal cell cancer on the back, chest, hands, and feet.
- Radiation therapy: This therapy uses high beams, such as protons and X-rays, to kill cancer cells. It is one of the fastest ways to remove BCC and is sometimes used after surgery when there is an increased risk of recurring cancer.
- Freezing: During freezing treatment, the doctor will freeze your cancer cells with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery) and remove the cancer with curet. Freezing might be considered for treating small BCC where surgery is not possible.
- Photodynamic therapy: During photodynamic treatment, the doctor will apply a liquid drug that makes the cancer cells sensitive to light on the skin. Later, a light destroys the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: It includes the usage of powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. Unlike surgery, which targets a specific area, chemotherapy circulates throughout the body and can reach cancer cells that may have spread to other body parts.
Self-Care Tips for Dealing with Basal Cell Carcinoma
Once you’ve had basal cell carcinoma, you have a higher risk of developing other skin cancers, including melanoma. To reduce this risk, doctors recommend the following to their patients to self-care after skin cancer basal cell: Take your doctor visit seriously: Follow your post-treatment work seriously. During these appointments, your doctor will check you for signs of skin cancer. Protect your skin from the sun: Avoiding the sun will also help your skin to heal and reduce scarring. Sun protection can prevent further skin damage and allow your body to repair some existing damage.
- You can protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen daily and clothing that covers your skin.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter.
- Apply a thick layer of sunscreen on your face and body.
- Avoid using equipment like a tanning bed.
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Recognizing Early Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Some warning signs or suspicious skin changes could indicate basal cell skin cancer. It’s essential to consult a doctor for a professional evaluation. The early detection of BCC and treatment are crucial for successful management. Some early-stage skin cancer basal cells tell you to consult your doctor.
- New lesion:The appearance of a bump or lesion on your skin, especially if it does not go away within a few weeks. It can be a common early sign.
- Change in existing moles or lesions: Any change in the size, shape, color, or texture of an existing mole can also be a sign of BCC.
- Shiny or pearly bump: BCC often presents as a raised, shiny, or pearly bump on the skin, which may have visible blood vessels.
- Pink or red patch: A pinkish or red patch of persistent skin that may be slightly scaly is another potential sign.
- Bleeding or oozing: A lesion that repeatedly bleeds, oozes, or crusts should be examined.
- Itchiness or Pain: If a skin lesion or area becomes persistently itchy or painful, it may warrant medical attention.
- Location: Basal cell skin cancer frequently appears on areas of the skin that are touched by the sun, such as the neck, face, ears, scalp, and hands.
How Ongo Care’s Team Can Help To Treat Basal Cell Carcinoma
Ongo Care offers the best dermatologist to treat basal cell skin cancer effectively. Our experienced dermatologists are well-equipped to provide comprehensive care for skin cancer, offering precise evaluations, tailored treatment plans, and ongoing support to ensure the most effective management of your condition. Don’t delay seeking expert care if you suspect skin cancer. Contact Ongo Care today to schedule a consultation with our top dermatologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is measles?
Measles is a very contagious viral infection caused by the measles virus (MeV). It primarily affects the respiratory tract and is known for its characteristic red rash, high fever, cough, and runny nose.
How is measles transmitted?
Measles is primarily spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
How can measles be prevented?
Measles can be prevented through vaccination with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. It’s given in two doses, usually at 12-15 months and 4-6 years of age. Maintaining high vaccination rates within communities is crucial for prevention.
What are the symptoms of measles?
Symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, followed by a distinctive red rash. Koplik’s spots (small white spots in the mouth) often precede the rash.
When should I seek medical attention for measles?
Seek medical attention if you experience a high fever, severe cough, difficulty breathing, signs of dehydration, irritability, confusion, seizures, severe headache, petechiae (purple or red spots on the skin), or any concerning symptoms during a measles infection. Early diagnosis and care are crucial.