What Is A Basal Cell
One of three main types of cells in the top layer of the skin, basal cells shed as new ones form. BCC most often occurs when DNA damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or indoor tanning triggers changes in basal cells in the outermost layer of skin , resulting in uncontrolled growth.
What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma
The commonest cause is exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or from sunbeds. BCCs can occur anywhere on the body, but are most common on areas that are exposed to the sun such as your face, head, neck and ears. It is also possible for a BCC to develop in a longstanding scar. BCCs are not infectious.
BCCs mainly affect fair skinned adults, but other skin types are also at risk. Those with the highest risk of developing a basal cell carcinoma are:
- People with pale skin who burn easily and rarely tan .
- Those who have had a lot of exposure to the sun, such as people with outdoor hobbies or outdoor workers, and people who have lived in sunny climates.
- People who have used sun beds or have regularly sunbathed.
- People who have previously had a basal cell carcinoma.
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Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma Of Skin
One of the most common types of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma . About 4 million people are diagnosed with BCC each year in the United States. Basal cells are one of the main types of cells in the top layer of the skin. BCC can occur when the basal cells get damaged by ultraviolet radiation, which leads to uncontrolled growth Nodular basal cell carcinoma is the type that affects most individuals who are diagnosed with skin cancer. Nodular lesions are often located on the upper back, neck, and head. Causes: Possible causes of nodular basal cell cancer include genetic predisposition, a condition known as Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome, and DNA damage from ultraviolet light In rare cases basal and squamous cell skin cancer can spread to the nearby lymph nodes Ask your doctor if your lymph nodes will be tested. Basal and squamous cell cancers don’t often spread to other parts of the body
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The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
How Is Basal Cell Cancer Of The Head And Neck Diagnosed
Diagnosis is made by clinical exam and a biopsy. Basal cell cancers are staged by size and extent of growth. These cancers rarely metastasize to lymph nodes or other organs, but they can grow quite large and invade small nerves and local structures.
Biopsy can help determine if the basal cell cancer is a low-risk tumor or a high-risk tumor that requires more aggressive treatment. Low-risk tumors are often nodular and do not have nerve involvement. High-risk tumors in the head and neck are those that involve the central face, nose and eye area, as well as those tumors that are greater than or equal to 10 millimeters on the cheeks, scalp and neck tumors that are recurrent or arising from previously radiated tissue and tumors arising in patients who are immunosuppressed. An aggressive growth pattern on the pathology evaluation and perineural invasion are also features of high-risk basal cell cancers.
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Types Of Basal Cell Cancer: Nodular Superficial And
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer and the least dangerousbut it’s far from a trivial matter, reports the May issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.The good news is that basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads , and it can easily be treated and cured when discovered early Basal cell carcinomas can be thin or thick and their appearance varies. They are most common on areas that have long-term exposure to the sun, such as the face and arms, although they are also common on the back and chest. Nodular basal cell carcinoma. Nodular basal cell carcinoma often appears as a pink lump with a pearly consistency The characteristics and location of basal cell carcinoma vary somewhat with the type, although many are a mixture of types. The most common form, nodular, usually shows up as a shiny bump, generally on the face, scalp, ears, or neck. It may bleed easily. And it often ulcerates and crusts over, which may create the illusion that it’s healing Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in humans and the most common cancer of the skin. It is a neoplasm of basal keratinocytes that is found more frequently in men than women and is typically seen on the face. Rates of BCC have been increasing over the last several decades, particularly in young women Abstract. Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing malignant skin tumor and its often found in elderly patients on sun exposed areas that confirming chronic UV radiation. Demographic, clinical and.
Different Kinds Of Skin Cancer
There are many types of skin cancer. Some are very rare. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.
The two most common kinds of skin cancers are:
- Basal cell cancer, which starts in the lowest layer of the skin
- Squamous cell cancer, which starts in the top layer of the skin
Another kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. These cancers start from the color-making cells of the skin . You can read about melanoma in If You Have Melanoma Skin Cancer.
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Leaving Basal Cell Carcinoma Untreated
Basal cell carcinoma is a slow growing cancer, but this doesnt mean it can be ignored. This is the least dangerous form of skin cancer and rarely spreads to other internal parts of the body. While death is a rare consequence there is the potential for disfigurement. Over time basal cell carcinoma can expand and cause ulcers and damage the skin and tissues.
Any damage could be permanent and have an impact on the way you look. Depending on how long the basal cell carcinoma has been present, radiotherapy may be required. This is the most common form of skin cancer and is often found on the face. You may notice a small lump which is shiny or pearl like and this is a sign you should get checked. This type of cancer generally does not cause any pain.
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Basal Cell And Squamous Cell Survival Rates
Because basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are lower-risk skin cancers, theres little information on survival rates based on stage.
Both types of cancer have a very high cure rate. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for basal cell carcinoma is 100 percent. The five-year survival rate for squamous cell carcinoma is 95 percent.
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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.
Treatment Of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Removal of the tumor
Doctors may remove the cancer in the office by scraping and burning it with an electric needle or by cutting it out. Doctors may destroy the cancer by using extreme cold .
A technique called Mohs microscopically controlled surgery may be required for some basal cell carcinomas that are large or regrow or occur in certain areas, such as around the nose and eyes.
People whose cancer has spread to nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body and who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy may be given the drug vismodegib or sonidegib taken by mouth.
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Is Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma Dangerous
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with more than 3.6 million cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. BCC almost never spreads beyond the original tumor site though, and the cure rate after excisional surgery is above 95 percent in most body areas. So, is this form of cancer even something to worry about The complications of Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin could include: If the tumor becomes big, develops into a firm mass and ulcerates, it can get secondarily infected with bacteria or fungus Metastasis to regional lymph nodes can occur. The tumor can also infiltrate into surrounding structure Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off. Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a slightly transparent bump on the skin, though it can take other forms Basal Cell Carcinoma: Clear Cell Type Clear cell BCC is composed of large cells with abundant clear cytoplasm and can mimic clear cell squamous cell carcinoma or sebaceous carcinoma in some cases. However, areas of more conventional-appearing BCC are often present, as are seen in the lower portion of this photomicrograph Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with more than four million new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is considered the least..
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.
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Infiltrative Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment
Due to the visually challenging element of this kind of skin cancer, the most recommended infiltrative basal cell carcinoma treatment method is Mohs surgery. This surgical procedure aims to remove unhealthy cells from the skin by cutting them out with a scalpel, allowing the healthy tissue to heal around the area. Depending on the patients circumstances, other non-melanoma skin cancer treatments include topical creams, chemotherapy, and IG-SRT, a radiotherapy treatment that helps avoid surgery but with similar results.
Taking Care Of Yourself
After you’ve been treated for basal cell carcinoma, you’ll need to take some steps to lower your chance of getting cancer again.
Check your skin. Keep an eye out for new growths. Some signs of cancer include areas of skin that are growing, changing, or bleeding. Check your skin regularly with a hand-held mirror and a full-length mirror so that you can get a good view of all parts of your body.
Avoid too much sun. Stay out of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UVB burning rays are strongest.
Use sunscreen. The suns UVA rays are present all day long — thats why you need daily sunscreen. Make sure you apply sunscreen with at least a 6% zinc oxide and a sun protection factor of 30 to all parts of the skin that aren’t covered up with clothes every day. You also need to reapply it every 60 to 80 minutes when outside.
Dress right. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and cover up as much as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
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Questions To Ask The Doctor
- Do you know the stage of the cancer?
- If not, how and when will you find out the stage of the cancer?
- Would you explain to me what the stage means in my case?
- What will happen next?
There are many ways to treat skin cancer. The main types of treatment are:
Most basal cell and squamous cell cancers can be cured with surgery or other types of treatments that affect only the spot on the skin.
The treatment plan thats best for you will depend on:
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- The chance that a type of treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your age and overall health
- Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it
Stages Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer starts on the surface of the skin, called the epidermis. Initially, it is the uncontrolled growth of skin cells, causing an abnormal growth. As it develops, skin cancer can move beyond the initial site and spread to surrounding skin and tissue, bones and other organs. Doctors rate the progression of skin cancer by various stages, from 0-4. The higher the number, the greater the spread of the cancer, with a Stage 4 cancer having spread to distant organs. If treated in early stages, there is a higher likelihood of completely removing the entire cancer, and the cancer has a much lesser likelihood of recurring. When left untreated until later stages, it becomes much harder to rid the body of the cancer and prevent illness and death.
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Can Basal Cell Carcinoma Be Cured
In the vast majority of cases, basal cell skin cancer can be cured. The survival rates are excellent however, the exact statistics remain unknown. Unlike other cancers, basal and squamous cell skin cancers are not tracked by cancer registries, so the statistics are not available.
In some cases, basal skin cancer can recur. The risk of recurrence appears to be linked to the type of treatment used to treat the cancer.
Research has indicated that the recurrence risk is:
- Just above 10% after surgical excision
- Slightly less than 8% after electrodesiccation and curettage
- Approximately 7.5% after cryotherapy
- Less than 1% after Mohs micrographic surgery
Treatment options vary depending on the subtype, staging, and location of the basal skin cancer.
Skin: Condition: Infomation Mohs Micrographic Surgery
This surgical procedure is used to treat more complex BCCs such as those present at difficult anatomical sites or recurrent BCCs. The procedure involves excision of the affected skin and examination of the skin removed under the microscope straight away to see if all of the BCC has been removed. If any residual BCC is left at the edge of the excision further skin is excised from that area and examined under the microscope and this process is continued until all of the BCC is removed. The site is then often closed with a skin graft. This is a time consuming process and is only undertaken when simple surgery may not be suitable.
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Why Not To Leave Skin Cancer Untreated
Skin cancer has two sides. On the one hand, it is fairly easy to detect and treat when done so at an early stage. On the other hand, when left untreated, skin cancer can cause disfigurement and even death. This is the dark side of skin cancer. Find out the sobering consequences of allowing skin cancer to develop into later stages.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can show up on the skin in many ways. Also known as BCC, this skin cancer tends to grow slowly and can be mistaken for a harmless pimple, scar, or sore.
Common signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma
This skin cancer often develops on the head or neck and looks like a shiny, raised, and round growth.
To help you spot BCC before it grows deep into your skin, dermatologists share these 7 warning signs that could be easily missed.
If you find any of the following signs on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist.
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Basal And Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Risk Factors
A risk factor is anything that raises your risk of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking and excess sun exposure, can be changed. Others, like your age or family history, cant be changed.
Having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you will get skin cancer. Many people with risk factors for skin cancer never get it. And some people who do get it may have few or no known risk factors.
Still, its important to know about the risk factors for skin cancer because there may be things you can do that could lower your risk of getting it. If you are at higher risk because of certain factors, there are also things you can do that might help find it early, when its likely to be easier to treat.
Several risk factors make a person more likely to get basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer.