Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeHealthHow Serious Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer

How Serious Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer

What You Can Do

Dr. Ranj – How to Spot Skin Cancer

If youve already had a BCC, you have an increased chance of developing another, especially in the same sun-damaged area or nearby.

A BCC can recur even when it has been carefully removed the first time, because some cancer cells may remain undetectable after surgery and others can form roots that extend beyond whats visible. BCCs on the nose, ears and lips are more likely to recur, usually within the first two years after surgery.

Heres what you can do to detect a recurrence and safeguard yourself against further skin damage that can lead to cancer:

Reviewed by:

Skin Cancer Support Groups And Counseling

Living with skin cancer presents many new challenges for you and for your family and friends. You will probably have many worries about how the cancer will affect you and your ability to “live a normal life,” that is, to care for your family and home, to hold your job, and to continue the friendships and activities you enjoy.

Many people with a skin cancer diagnosis feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful; others feel helpless and defeated. For most people with skin cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns helps. Your friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Don’t wait for them to bring it up. If you want to talk about your concerns, let them know.

Continued

Some people don’t want to “burden” their loved ones, or prefer talking about their concerns with a more neutral professional. A social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful. Your dermatologist or oncologist should be able to recommend someone.

Many people with cancer are profoundly helped by talking to other people who have cancer. Sharing your concerns with others who have been through the same thing can be remarkably reassuring. Support groups for people with cancer may be available through the medical center where you are receiving your treatment. The American Cancer Society also has information about support groups throughout the U.S.

Exposure To Certain Chemicals

Being exposed to large amounts of arsenic increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Arsenic is an element found naturally in well water in some areas. Its also used in making some pesticides and in some other industries.

Workers exposed to coal tar, paraffin, and certain types of petroleum products may also have an increased risk of skin cancer.

Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Melanoma Cancer

What Does Skin Cancer Look Like

Basal cell carcinoma

  • BCC frequently develops in people who have fair skin. People who have skin of color also get this skin cancer.

  • BCCs often look like a flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, or a pinkish patch of skin.

  • BCCs usually develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.

  • BCCs are common on the head, neck, and arms; however, they can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC are important. BCC can grow deep. Allowed to grow, it can penetrate the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin

  • People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC. This skin cancer also develops in people who have darker skin.

  • SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.

  • SCC tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back.

  • SCC can grow deep into the skin, causing damage and disfigurement.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent SCC from growing deep and spreading to other areas of the body.

SCC can develop from a precancerous skin growth

  • People who get AKs usually have fair skin.

  • AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.

  • Because an AK can turn into a type of skin cancer, treatment is important.

Melanoma

How Do You Prevent Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

The best way to prevent basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers is to protect the skin from the sun.

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid the midday sun, between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds.
  • Examine your skin regularly for new moles, spots, bumps, or growths, and inform your doctor of any skin changes.

In patients who are at higher risk for recurrence of basal cell carcinoma, certain medications may be used, however, studies on the effectiveness of these medications have had mixed results.

  • Celecoxib , a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , may offer modest risk reduction, but studies on its effectiveness for preventing tumors are mixed.
  • Oral nicotinamide is a vitamin supplement available over the counter. Additional studies are needed to determine its effectiveness in preventing skin cancers. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements because of possible side effects or drug interactions.
  • Topical fluorouracil has been shown to help prevent other skin conditions and precursors to basal cell carcinoma, however, the data are mixed on whether it may help prevent BCC.

You May Like: Can I Donate Blood If I Had Melanoma

What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma typically occurs on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, such as the face, around the eyes, ears, head and scalp, and neck. In rare cases, basal cell cancer may occur on the hands.

Characteristics of the tumors may include the following:

  • A pearly white bump
  • Spider veins visible on the surface
  • Waxy skin growths with raised border and depression in the center
  • Flat, scaly patches
  • They may bleed, especially if injured.
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Slow growing: 0.5 cm in 1-2 years
  • Black-blue or brown areas

What Is The Most Serious Type Of Skin Cancer Quizlet

What is the most serious type of skin cancer quizlet?

What is the #1 most common type of skin cancer?;Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 3.6 million cases of BCC are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 1.8 million cases of SCC are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

What type of skin cancer is deadly?;Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes. While it is less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma , melanoma is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.

Which of the following is the most severe form of skin cancer quizlet?;How serious is it? Melanoma is the most dangerous of the three most common forms of skin cancer.

Recommended Reading: Is Skin Cancer Usually Raised

What Is A Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that occurs when there is damage to the DNA of basal cells in the top layer, or epidermis, of the skin. They are called basal cells because they are the deepest cells in the epidermis. In normal skin, the basal cells are less than one one-hundredth of an inch deep, but once a cancer has developed, it will spread deeper.

The Difference Between Basal Cell Carcinoma And Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Types of Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, over 5 million cases of basal cell and squamous cell cancers are diagnosed every year. Though, basal cell carcinoma occurs more often, taking credit for about 80% of these cases. Other than the disparities in occurrence, what is the difference between basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas? You may also be wondering is squamous cell worse than basal cell, or vice versa. Here is some insight.

You May Like: Is Non Melanoma Skin Cancer Deadly

When Should I See My Doctor

If you have had one BCC, you have a 50% chance of developing another one, so it is important to check your skin regularly.

Most people find BCCs by checking their own skin and looking for changes. See a doctor if you find:

  • a spot that is different from other spots on your skin
  • a spot that has changed size, shape, colour or texture
  • a sore that doesnt heal
  • a sore that is itchy or bleeds

Surgical Lymph Node Biopsy

If an FNA doesn’t find cancer in a lymph node but the doctor still suspects the cancer has spread there, the lymph node may be removed by surgery and examined. If the lymph node is just under the skin, this can often be done in a doctors office or outpatient surgical center using local anesthesia. This will leave a small scar.

Also Check: What Cancer Looks Like On Skin

What Are The Risk Factors For Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma are all skin cancers caused by exposure to damaging ultraviolet raysfrom natural and artificial sunlight. Thereâs also a genetic condition called basal cell nevus or Gorlin syndrome, which can cause people to develop hundreds of basal cell skin cancers, but itâs extremely rare, says Dr. Christensen.

People at the highest risk for basal cell carcinoma tend to have fair or light-colored skin, a history of sun exposure and a tendency to sunburn quickly. Fair-skinned people have a 50 percent risk of developing basal skin cancer at some point in their lives, Dr. Christensen says. The cancer is the result of cumulative damage of years spent in the sun, and may take 20 years to manifest.

Although itâs often more common in older people, it can occur in younger adults, too.

Basal cell carcinoma spreads very slowly and very rarely will metastasize, Dr. Christensen says. But if itâs not treated, basal cell carcinoma can continue to grow deeper under the skin and cause significant destruction to surrounding tissues. It can even become fatal. For example, an untreated basal cell carcinoma on the face can grow into the bones and, over time, directly into the brain, Dr. Christensen says.

Basal cell skin cancer, also called basal cell carcinoma, is usually very curable, but it can cause disfigurement and complications if its not treated. In the majority of cases, basal cell carcinoma is very treatable.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Basal Cell Skin Cancer

7

A doctor will get a medical history and perform a physical examination and then perform a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma. There are two types of skin biopsies that may be indicated:

  • Shave biopsy: A small tool resembling a razor scrapes off a small area of the skin. This may be all that is needed.
  • Punch biopsy: A circular tool punches through the deeper layers of skin.

Imaging studies are usually unnecessary, but if the cancer is suspected to have spread to deeper structures such as bone, then your doctor may use computed tomography scans or X-ray.

Don’t Miss: What Does Skin Cancer On The Face Look Like

Basal Cell Skin Cancer

BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. About 75 out of every 100;non melanoma skin cancers are BCCs. They develop from basal cells and these are found in the deepest part of the outer layer of the skin .

They develop mostly in areas of skin exposed to the sun, including parts of the face such as the nose, forehead and cheeks. Also, on your back or lower legs.

They are;most often diagnosed in people who are middle aged or older.

Doctors might also call;a basal cell cancer;a rodent ulcer.

There are;a number of different types of BCC.;Each type can look and behave differently. They;include:

  • nodular basal cell skin cancer
  • superficial basal cell skin cancer
  • morphoeic basal cell skin cancer – also known as sclerosing or infiltrating basal cell skin cancer
  • pigmented basal cell skin cancer

Nodular basal cell cancer is the most common subtype.

It’s very rare for basal cell skin cancer to spread to another part of the body to form a;secondary cancer. It’s possible to have more than one basal cell cancer at any one time and having had one does increase your risk of getting another.

For More Information About Skin Cancer

National Cancer Institute, Cancer Information Service Toll-free: 4-CANCER 422-6237TTY : 332-8615

Skin Cancer Foundation

Media file 1: Skin cancer. Malignant melanoma.

Media file 2: Skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma.

Media file 3: Skin cancer. Superficial spreading melanoma, left breast. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Media file 4: Skin cancer. Melanoma on the sole of the foot. Diagnostic punch biopsy site located at the top. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Media file 5: Skin cancer. Melanoma, right lower cheek. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Continued

Media file 6: Skin cancer. Large sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma on the forehead and temple. Image courtesy of Dr. Glenn Goldman.

You May Like: Can Renal Cell Carcinoma Be Benign

Other Factors That Can Affect Outlook And Treatment Options

The stage of a skin cancer can help give an idea of how serious the cancer is likely to be, including how likely it might be to return after treatment. But other factors are also important to consider. Some of these include:

  • The location of the tumor
  • How fast the tumor has been growing
  • How well-defined the borders of the tumor are
  • If the tumor has been causing symptoms, such as pain or itchiness
  • How the cancer cells look under a microscope
  • If the cancer cells have invaded small nerves or blood vessels in and around the tumor
  • If the cancer is in a place that was previously treated with radiation
  • If the person has a weakened immune system

Your doctor can explain if any of these factors might affect your treatment or outlook.

Where Do Skin Cancers Start

How Dangerous are Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Most skin cancers start in the top layer of skin, called the epidermis. There are 3 main types of cells in this layer:

  • Squamous cells: These are flat cells in the upper part of the epidermis, which are constantly shed as new ones form. When these cells grow out of control, they can develop into squamous cell skin cancer .
  • Basal cells: These cells are in the lower part of the epidermis, called the basal cell layer. These cells constantly divide to form new cells to replace the squamous cells that wear off the skins surface. As these cells move up in the epidermis, they get flatter, eventually becoming squamous cells. Skin cancers that start in the basal cell layer are called basal cell skin cancers or basal cell carcinomas.
  • Melanocytes: These cells make the brown pigment called melanin, which gives the skin its tan or brown color. Melanin acts as the bodys natural sunscreen, protecting the deeper layers of the skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun. Melanoma skin cancer starts in these cells.

The epidermis is separated from the deeper layers of skin by the basement membrane. When a skin cancer becomes more advanced, it generally grows through this barrier and into the deeper layers.

Recommended Reading: Do You Need Chemo For Melanoma

Prognosis Of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Treatment of basal cell carcinoma is nearly always successful, and the cancer is rarely fatal. However, almost 25% of people with a history of basal cell carcinoma develop a new basal cell cancer within 5 years of the first one. Thus, anyone with one basal cell carcinoma should have a yearly skin examination.

Exams And Tests For Skin Cancer

If you think a mole or other skin lesion has turned into skin cancer, your primary care provider will probably refer you to a dermatologist. The dermatologist will examine any moles in question and, in many cases, the entire skin surface. Any lesions that are difficult to identify, or are thought to be skin cancer, may then be checked. Tests for skin cancer may include:

  • The doctor may use a handheld device called a dermatoscope to scan the lesion. Another handheld device, MelaFind, scans the lesion then a computer program evaluates images of the lesion to indicate if it’s cancerous.
  • A sample of skin will be taken so that the suspicious area of skin can be examined under a microscope.
  • A biopsy is;done in the dermatologist’s office.

If a biopsy shows that you have malignant melanoma, you may undergo further testing to determine the extent of spread of the disease, if any. This may involve blood tests, a chest X-ray, and other tests as needed. This is only needed if the melanoma is of a certain size.

Continued

Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Treatment For Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma

2. Basal cell carcinoma. This is the most typical but least dangerous kind of skin cancer. It grows slowly, generally on the head, neck and upper torso. It may look like a lump or dry, scaly area. It can be red, pale or pearly in color. As it grows, it may ulcerate or resemble a sore that does not recover correctly March 3, 2018. Answer: How quickly does a basalcellcarcinoma grow. Basalcellcarcinomas typically grow slowly, but they can be invasive and destructive over time. The location also matters. 2mm of growth in the middle of the back would not make much difference. 2mm of growth on the nose or eyelid would have a greater impact A basal cell carcinoma anterior to the medial canthus: Note the pearly margins and the central crater. The most common type of eyelid cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Most basal cell carcinomas can be removed with surgery. However, many older patients will try to ignore these slow growing tumors Finally I found it was basal cell carcinoma. Thankfully, this is the least-dangerous type of skin cancer, and it’s one of the easiest forms of skin cancer to treat. And you do have to treat. Infiltrative Basal Cell. New; Skin cancer forum requires membership for participation – click to join. I had to have 1cm. of my lower eyelid removed for a nodular bcc just before Christmas and I felt anything but brave, the days before the op. were the worst. I have just been diagnosed with an infiltrative basal cell carcinoma on my.

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles