Basal cell carcinoma affects about 2 million new Americans every year, but fortunately, it’s highly treatable if you catch it early. At Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, board-certified dermatologists Allan Mineroff, MD, Kristen Foering, MD, MTR, and Erin Santa, MD, FAAD, can remove the cancer in their Lansdale, Pennsylvania, office, leaving you cancer-free immediately. Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule your skin exam now.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It occurs when the basal cells — the cells at the bottom of your epidermis (the outer skin layer) — multiply abnormally fast.
Although basal cell carcinoma occurs towards the top of your skin, it can grow deeper if given time. Fortunately, it’s often a slow-growing cancer that responds to prompt treatment.
The most common areas for basal cell carcinoma are those that get the most sun exposure, including the arms, head, and neck. Usually, basal cell carcinoma appears as a shiny round bump. It can also appear as:
While most basal cell carcinoma lesions are either red or pink, they can be brown, skin-colored, yellow, or pearly white.
There is a broad range of treatments for basal cell carcinoma. The team recommends an approach based on the specific form of basal cell carcinoma, its location, and whether it’s confined or spreading.
Basal cell carcinoma can eventually grow quite deep, causing disfiguring tumors and destroying skin, nerves, blood vessels, and bone. In rare cases, it can spread to other parts of the body to cause even more damage.
The earlier you remove it, the less tissue must be removed. This means less scarring if you remove it early. Treatment options include:
In-office surgical excision removes the lesion and some healthy tissue around it. In-office surgery under local anesthesia is generally the preferred approach for basal cell carcinoma since it’s the most reliable way to completely remove the cancer.
Mohs surgery removes cancerous cells in layers. This approach can avoid unnecessary loss of any healthy skin, so it can be a good option for delicate areas (like an eyelid) where you have less skin to spare.
Curettage and electrodesiccation remove the basal cell carcinoma through a scraping process. Then, a heated needle skills any cancer cells that remain. This approach is usually best for cancers on the chest, back, arm, or leg.
In certain cases, the team may prescribe a topical medication you use at home to destroy cancer cells. Sometimes, this type of medication is a follow-up to a different treatment.
Radiation treatment can destroy cancer cells, and it’s sometimes used in combination with surgery for more aggressive basal cell carcinomas.
For help with a concerning skin growth, call the Allan Mineroff, MD, PC office, or click on the online scheduler to make your appointment now.