With an estimated 3.6 million cases diagnosed annually within the U.S., basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. Fortunately, this form of skin cancer is also among the most treatable forms of cancer. Unlike other carcinomas, like squamous cell carcinoma that is more likely to spread and involve other organ tissues, basal cell carcinoma grows more slowly. While less risky than other types of carcinomas, basal cell carcinoma is still a serious health concern and prompt treatment should be a priority.
Common Characteristics of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma affects the cells lining; the deepest part of the skin’s outer layer. Basal cell carcinoma does not always look the same; it can appear in different areas, colors, and shapes. These are some common skin conditions to look out for that may be a cause for concern:
- Small Shiny Bumps: Usually found on the nose, neck, or areas of skin with excessive sun exposure.
- Flesh or Dark Colored Skin Abnormalities: Raised areas of skin with persistent growths that look similar to moles or large freckles.
- Waxy, Hardened Skin: Raised areas may present with blood vessels and abnormal skin texture.
- Red, Scaly Patches: These scaly patches are fragile, and can bleed easily.
- Open Sores: Unusual areas of open skin, often accompanied by reddened and irritated surrounding tissue.
Regularly inspecting your skin and areas of frequent sun exposure is the best way to proactively protect your skin’s health. If you’re experiencing any of these skin symptoms, reach out to the best dermatologist in Bucks County, PA for a professional skin evaluation before your condition worsens.
Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma
Due to the superficial nature of most basal cell carcinomas, minimally invasive procedures have been proven to be safe and effective. While other carcinomas may require more invasive interventions because they can affect internal tissues like the respiratory tract, kidneys, breasts, or digestive tract, basal cell carcinoma is often easier to access and treat.
Depending on the location, size, and skin type involved, there are several options for completely curing this form of cancer. The most common treatment for basal cell carcinoma is surgical removal of cancer and a few millimeters of the surrounding tissue to prevent a recurrence. If traditional surgical intervention isn’t a viable option, options like radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and topical immune response modifiers have proven effective for the safe treatment of basal cell carcinoma.
If you’re concerned that you may have basal cell carcinoma, you must get in touch with Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists for a professional diagnosis and proven treatment as soon as possible.