Basal cell carcinoma sounds a bit frightening. It happens to be the most common skin cancer we can develop, and yes, it can become quite serious if neglected or overlooked. If you or Dr. Goodless discovers basal cell carcinoma, there will be a series of actions you need to undertake. What can I expect if I have basal cell carcinoma?
Look Where the Sun Shines
Most basal cell carcinomas develop on the part of your body exposed to the sun on a regular basis. They are commonly found on the face, head, chest, arms, legs, ears, eyelids, and nose.
What Are Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer?
You can spot basal cell carcinoma (BCC) with the following specifications:
- It can look like a bump, lump, pimple, or scaly lesion.
- It may be shiny and translucent and can be near the color of your skin.
- It can appear pink, brown to black, or black to a bluish color.
- It grows slowly, but may be itchy or painful.
- It can develop as an ulcer, which will bleed or ooze a clear liquid.
The Good News
The good news is that a basal cell carcinoma will grow very slowly. If found early, it is highly treatable. Most do not spread to the bloodstream or lymph nodes and don’t cause a risk to your life unless you do nothing about them.
If untreated, the cancer cells on your skin will destroy tissue near it and may get larger and more dangerous with time. That’s why you should see Dr. Goodless any time you notice any new lesion resembling the above specifications. If you notice any new lesion it is crucial to schedule an appointment with our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Dean Goodless. Call our dermatology clinic in Orlando, FL at (407) 566-1616.
Are You at Risk?
Individuals with the following risk factors are at an increased risk for basal cell carcinoma:
- People over the age of 50.
- Individuals with fair skin.
- Men seem to be more susceptible.
- Those who have already had skin cancer.
- People with past sun exposure without wearing sunscreen protection.
- Individuals who smoke or who have previously smoked.
- Those who use or who’ve previously used tanning beds.
What to Expect During Diagnosis
Once you have seen Dr. Goodless, a biopsy will be performed to make the proper diagnosis.
If confirmed by the lab, treatment options will be based on your age, general health, the size of the BCC, and the location of the lesion.
How Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Treated?
Most treatments are performed with the patient awake during an outpatient procedure using injectable numbing medication.
Most wounds heal naturally with minimal scarring.
Surgical options can include:
With Mohs Surgery, Dr. Goodless removes the cancerous layers one by one, and then checks to see if any cancerous cells remain. This is done until there are no more cancerous cells.
Surgery by Excision
Dr. Goodless cuts out the lesion and surrounding tissue.
This involves scraping off the lesion or lump with a curette and then searing or burning with an electric needle.
Known as cryotherapy or freezing the lump to remove it.
Applying blue light to the skin that destroys the cancer cells.
Using high energy beams to remove the cancer.
Sometimes chemotherapy is used when other treatments have not destroyed the cancer.
Expect your prognosis to be good if the cancer was caught early.