What Does Basal Cell Carcinoma Look Like
When the DNA in the basal cells is damaged and a basal cell carcinoma develops, it will appear as a change in the skin, such as a growth or sore that wont heal. The lesion will have one of the following characteristics. It will look like
- A pearly white, skin-colored, or pink bump on the skin. It will be translucent, meaning you can see through it slightly, and you can often see blood vessels in it.
- A brown, black, or blue lesion or a lesion with dark spots. It will have a slightly raised, translucent border.
- A flat, scaly, reddish patch of skin with a raised edge. These will occur more commonly on the back or chest.
- A white, waxy, scar-like lesion without a clearly defined border. This morpheaform basal cell carcinoma is the least common.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Basal Cell Carcinoma Surgery
Wound recovery from basal cell carcinoma would typically take up to 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the size. Symptoms such as infection, bleeding, and pain are highly unlikely. The wound is closed with stitches, which is important in minimizing the scar or when the skins natural healing is not enough. For more information on basal cell carcinoma, visit our website by clicking this link.
Basal Cell And Squamous Cell Carcinomatreatments
Numerous treatment options are available for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Your therapy will depend upon the type of skin cancer you have and its stage.
- Surgery Many skin cancers can be cut from the skin quickly and easily. In fact, the cancer is sometimes completely removed at the time of the biopsy, and no further treatment is needed.
- Curettage and Electrodesiccation Doctors commonly use a type of surgery called curettage. After a local anesthetic numbs the area, the cancer is scooped out with a curette, an instrument with a sharp, spoon-shaped end. The area is also treated by electrodesiccation. An electric current from a special machine is used to control bleeding and kill any cancer cells remaining around the edge of the wound. Most patients develop a flat, white scar.
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General Principles In Outer Nose Repair
Most of nasal skin is of the sebaceous type. Whenever possible, scar lines should be placed along relaxed skin tension lines. Aesthetic units of the nose need consideration although tumours do not respect their borders. Aging affects the nose anatomy. Characteristic symptoms are frown lines , transverse crease on the nasal root, drooping of tip of nose, and deepened nasolabial folds. Skin diseases of elderly, like rosacea and rhinophyma can interfere with surgical techniques.
The skin covering the bony parts is highly movable, while the skin over cartilage parts is thicker, tighter and bound to the cartilage. Healing by second ary intention of convex surfaces like the nose tip should be avoided since healing often is delayed and may lead to uneven scars.
How Successful Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
Mohs micrographic surgery has the best cure rates with basal cell carcinoma, a 99 percent cure rate for carcinomas that are not returning growths. The cure rate when basal cell carcinomas are removed with wide excision can be as high as 98 percent. With curettage and electrodesiccation, the rate is from 91 to 97 percent.
Basal cell carcinoma is not considered life-threatening in almost all cases. It is simply disfiguring.
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Basal Cell Carcinoma: The Most Common Skin Cancer
It’s common: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 4 million cases of BCC are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone. As most people know, its associated with frequent or prolonged sun exposure.
If theres something good to say about BCC, its that most cases are manageable. Its a slow-growing cancer that seldom spreads. Also, BCCs occur on the skin, usually where they can be readily seen. Surgical removal is an effective treatment.
But when a BCC grows undetected, it can become more serious.
I can’t even say how phenomenal Dr. Desai was. He was so down-to-earth and helped me understand everything that was happening to me. Every time I went, he encouraged me and was honest, but positive.
Can Basal Cell Carcinomas Be Cured
Yes, BCCs can be cured in almost every case, although treatment can be more complicated if the BCC has been neglected for a long time, or if it occurs in an awkward place, such as close to the eye or on the nose or ear.
BCCs rarely spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, although it is a type of skin cancer it is almost never a danger to life.
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
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Treatment Of Facial Basal Cell Carcinoma: A Review
1Department of Dermatology, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull and Hull York Medical School , Hull HU2 3JZ, UK
Basal cell carcinomas are locally destructive malignancies ofthe skin. They are the most common type of cancer in the westernworld. The lifetime incidence may be up to 39%. UV exposure is themost common risk factor. The majority of these tumours occur on thehead and neck. Despite BCCs being relatively indolent the highincidence means that their treatment now contributes a significant andincreasing workload for the health service. A good understanding ofthe options available is important. Management decisions may beinfluenced by various factors including the patients age andcomorbidities and the lesion subtype and location. Due to theimportance of a good cosmetic and curative outcome for facial BCCstreatment decisions may differ significantly to those that would bemade for BCCs arising elsewhere. There is little good randomizedcontrolled data available comparing treatment modalities. Althoughtraditionally standard excision has been the treatment of choicevarious other options are available including: Mohs micrographicsurgery, curettage and cautery, cryosurgery, radiotherapy, topicalimiquimod, photodynamic therapy and topical 5-fluorouracil. Wediscuss and review the literature and evidence base for the treatmentoptions that are currently available for facial BCCs.
What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Basal Cell Carcinoma Unique
Yale Medicine receives referrals from community dermatologists all over the country. We receive a very high volume of referrals, so regardless of how unusual the case may be, it’s likely we’ve seen it before, says Dr. Christensen. We work closely with a team of specialized skin pathologists in our dermatopathology lab who evaluate skin samples that could be cancerous or pre-cancerous. Then, our dermatologic surgeons use their expertise to safely remove these spots.
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Basal Cell Carcinoma Overview
Basal cell carcinoma, also called epithelioma, is the uncontrolled growth of the skins basal cells. These are the cells that line the deepest layer of the epidermis, the skins outermost layer. This type of cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
It is mainly caused by repeated long-term exposure to sunlight. Light-skinned people who spent a lot of time in the sun as children, or who spend time in tanning booths, are especially susceptible. X-ray treatments for acne and exposure to industrial pollutants such as arsenic and hydrocarbons also increase the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in the United States, with nearly 3 million cases diagnosed each year.
Will I Need Chemotherapy For Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma, a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, is very common and affects people of various age groups. If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, you probably have questions about your next steps and what treatments can be used to address this type of cancer.
Every patient is different and requires an individualized treatment plan. With this said, chemotherapy is rarely used to eradicate basal cell carcinoma. This systemic treatment involves administering medicine into the bloodstream to attack cancer cells throughout the body. Because basal cell carcinoma usually affects an isolated area and seldom reaches an advanced stage, a systematic approach to treatment is typically not necessary.
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Basal Cell Carcinoma On Lower Eyelid Surgery And Recovery
May 10, 2017
When you hear that you have basal cell carcinoma on your eyelid it is scary. Let me jump to the end my story has a happy ending. Whew! A few weeks ago I shared the beginning of my story with basal cell carcinoma on the lower eyelid. Ill be honest, it was a scary procedure. And doubly scary because it was all performed on my eye! Spoiler alert everything turned out fine and my eye looks great. Unless youre uncomfortably close to my face, youd never know that anything was done to my lower eyelid, let alone that more than a third of it was removed. In case youre facing basal cell carcinoma on the lower eyelid, let me tell you all about my experience with the surgery and recovery.
About the time that I had my complicated appendectomy, I noticed a stye on my lower eyelid. I was busy healing from the apendectormy and so I didnt worry much about the stye since Ive had them before. A couple of months later, I had some unusual reactions associated with my stye that caused me to go to my family practice doctor. Two different doctors in the practice saw my stye and treated it as a normalstye. Finally I was referred me to an ophthalmologist. As soon as the ophthalmologist saw my stye, he suspected that it was basal cell carcinoma .
Effective Options For Early And Advanced Bcc
When detected early, most basal cell carcinomas can be treated and cured. Prompt treatment is vital, because as the tumor grows, it becomes more dangerous and potentially disfiguring, requiring more extensive treatment. Certain rare, aggressive forms can be fatal if not treated promptly.
If youve been diagnosed with a small or early BCC, a number of effective treatments can usually be performed on an outpatient basis, using a local anesthetic with minimal pain. Afterwards, most wounds can heal naturally, leaving minimal scarring.
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How Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Removed
In most cases, a basal cell carcinoma can be removed with a traditional surgical excision, which involves using a small knife to remove the tumor and some surrounding healthy skin. After the excision is completed, a pathologist will carefully examine the removed tissue for evidence of cancer. Basal cells are found in the epidermis and basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads beyond this area, so this type of excision is usually sufficient.
Expert Review And References
- Christensen SR, Leffell DJ. Cancer of the skin. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 92:1314-1336.
- National Cancer Institute. Skin Cancer Treatment for Health Professionals . 2015: .
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Basal Cell Skin Cancer . 2015.
- Zloty D, Guenther LC, Sapijaszko M et al. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Canada chapter 4: management of basal cell carcinoma. Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2015.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma appears as a dome shaped growth on the skin, which has blood vessels in it.
- Basal cell carcinoma can be of brown, pink or black color.
- In the initial stages, a basal cell carcinoma looks like a small, pearl like bump and also resembles a flesh-colored pimple or mole which persists and doesnt go away.
- Basal cell carcinoma can also look dark sometimes.
- This cancer can also start as slightly scaly, shiny pink or red patches on the skin.
- A hard and waxy skin growth is also one of the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma.
- These growths are fragile and tend to bleed easily.
How To Identify Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomas look like flesh-colored, pearl-like bumps or pinkish patches of skin. They can develop into sores. They tend to grow most often on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as your arms, face, and neck. Often the first detected symptom of a basal cell carcinoma is a bleeding spot without a preceding cause. It is extremely rare to see regional spread or metastasis to other locations in the body. However, if left untreated, the lesion will expand and destroy more tissue locally where it is found.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer: A Plastic Surgeons Best Recommendations For Treatment
Plastic Surgeons remove over 4 million tumors and skin growths a year in the United States . It is likely that basal cell skin cancer account for many of those surgeries .
What is basal cell and why is it so common? Basal cell is by far the MOST COMMON skin cancer, and it is caused directly by sun damage. It usually grows in sun-exposed areas, and starts with a red scaly patch of skin that sometimes bleeds. The treatment involves removing or destroying the abnormal cells- usually by surgical excision. When found early, these basal cells are typically small and without symptoms. Patients often wonder why they are even treating the area. But these areas will continue to grow and eventually become large and destructive- sometimes tragically so.
The cells in the deepest layer of skin absorb the ultraviolet light energy from the sun, causing damage to the DNA. The damaged cells form mutations that cause them to continually replicate and grow, rather than divide in a slow and orderly way. People with fair skin are more likely to develop the disease, and people with a strong family history of basal cell tend to get it more often. Some will only get one or two in a lifetime others can develop 10 or more. It is a highly variable disease.
You have just been diagnosed with basal cell skin cancernow what?
What is Mohs Surgery and when do I need it?
What will I look like after I am healed? How bad are the scars?
Do I Need Medical Treatment
While basal cell carcinoma is a relatively mild form of skin cancer that is unlikely to metastasize or cause secondary health concerns, medical supervision is advised for any type of cancer. A qualified professional can help you determine the severity of your condition and suggest an appropriate course of treatment.
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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider About Basal Cell Carcinoma
It is important to contact a healthcare provider any time you have a skin problem that does not resolve. This means developing any new or larger mole, lump or sore, or new symptoms such as pain or itchiness. If you have had BCC or another type of skin cancer, you will probably be given a recommended schedule of needed appointments. You should follow up on these appointments as directed.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/05/2019.
Targeted Therapy Or Immunotherapy For Advanced Basal Cell Cancers
In rare cases where basal cell cancer spreads to other parts of the body or cant be cured with surgery or radiation therapy, a targeted drug such as vismodegib or sonidegib can often shrink or slow its growth.
If these drugs are no longer working , the immunotherapy drug cemiplimab can sometimes be helpful.
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Can Basal Cell Carcinoma Turn Into Melanoma
No, basal cell carcinoma cannot develop into melanoma, as they are entirely separate and unique skin cancers. Melanoma is usually scaly in physical appearance and feel, while basal cell carcinoma is more common and nonmelanoma, which means skin cancer doesnt originate from melanin-producing skin cells.
Common Treatment Options For Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma usually manifests as a sore or growth on the skin. Surgery to remove the cancer and a small portion of the surrounding tissue is often sufficient to successfully treat basal cell carcinoma. The most commonly recommended surgical approaches for treating skin cancer include traditional excision, Mohs micrographic surgery and curettage and electrodessication.
Less commonly, targeted radiation therapy or special ointments may be used instead of or in addition to skin cancer surgery. For example, radiation therapy may be appropriate for patients whose cancer has developed on an area of the body that is difficult to operate on, such as the ears or eyelids.
Moffitt Cancer Centers Cutaneous Oncology Program features a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on diagnosing and treating skin cancer. By merging individualized treatment with the latest therapies and procedures, Moffitts experts help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life. Contact us at or submit a new patient registration form online to learn more.
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What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma occurs when one of the skins basal cells develops a mutation in its DNA. Basal cells are responsible for producing new skin cells. As they do so, older skin cells are pushed toward the skin surface, where they die and are sloughed off. DNA in the basal cell controls this function.
Mohs Surgery Is Very Precise
During Mohs surgery, a dermatologic surgeon like Maher removes skin from a skin cancer site one stage at a time. First, a dermatologic surgeon outlines the lesion with ink to map the tumor. After a local anesthetic is injected, the doctor removes the thinnest possible layer of cancerous tissue. While the patient waits, that layer is processed in an onsite pathology lab. After processing, the dermatologic surgeon can then examine the entire margin of removed tissue under the microscope to determine whether any cancer remains. If skin cancer persists, the dermatologic surgeon can identify the precise location of the remaining cancerous cells. At that point, the patient returns to the operating room so that the surgeon can take another layerand the process is repeated until all cancerous tissue has been removed. Roughly 80 percent of patients only need a single layer of skin removed in order to remove all the cancerous tissue. This layer-by-layer approach keeps the incision as small as possible to reduce scarring and promote healing.
Because of the way we process these tissue samples, looking at 100 percent of the margin, we can know for certain when weve removed all of the cancer, Maher said.
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